Fundamental Freedoms

Court Cases

Significant Step for G20 Police Accountability

August 26, 2015

Yesterday, a police tribunal found senior Toronto police officer, Superintendent Mark Fenton, guilty of discreditable conduct and unnecessary exercise of authority for ordering the mass arrest of civilians during the 2010 G20 protests. The tribunal, presided over by retired judge John Hamilton, reaffirmed that police cannot use mass arrests to break up peaceful protests — a […]


Supreme Court favours individual liberty for medical marijuana users

June 11, 2015

Sufferers of glaucoma, chronic pain, arthritis or epilepsy have been given another way to manage their conditions by the Supreme Court. Until today, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (or MMARs) only allowed medical marijuana users to possess the dried plant – not to use compounds extracted from it. Effectively, the law meant that medical users […]


Supreme Court Maintains Clarity of Personal Use Exception to Child Pornography

May 22, 2015

The Supreme Court of Canada has rendered a decision in the cases of R. v. Barabash and R. v. Rollison, which considered the proper interpretation of the personal use exception to child pornography charges. The Court affirmed their prior interpretation of the exception, accepting some of the arguments put forward by the CCLA, and striking an […]

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. Her Majesty the Queen, et al. (Supreme Court of Canada)

March 9, 2011

This case concerns whether news gathering in courthouses and the broadcasting of open court proceedings convey crucial information about the nature and workings of the justice system, and whether the Canadian public has a constitutional right to receive this information. Read the Supreme Court of Canada’s case summary Read the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision


Supreme Court Decision on Hyperlinking a Victory for Freedom of Expression

October 19, 2011

The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in a defamation case is part of an approach that increasingly recognizes the importance of freedom of expression and the steps that need to be taken to protect it in the Internet age.  The Court has rendered a decision in the case of Crookes v. Newton, which considered whether a […]


Supreme Court of Canada Addresses Defences to Child Pornography

November 7, 2011

The Supreme Court has rendered a decision in R. v. Katigbak, a case that considered how to interprete certain defences to the criminal offence of possessing child pornography.  The CCLA intervened in the case because, despite the importance of protecting children from sexual exploitation, the broad definition of child pornography requires that the defences to […]

A Victory for Equality Rights in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

January 10, 2011

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has handed a victory to advocates of equality in rendering its decision in a reference on proposed amendements to Saskatchewan’s Marriage Act. The proposed amendments would have allowed provincially appointed marriage commissioners to refuse to perform civil marriages where to do so would conflict with their religious beliefs.  The amendments […]

Supreme Court Addresses Freedom of Religion in the Schools

February 17, 2012

The Supreme Court of Canada has rendered its decision in the case of S.L. v. Commission scolaire des Chenes, a case in which parents sought an exemption for their children from Quebec’s mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) course.  The Supreme Court found that the refusal to grant an exemption did not violate the parents’ […]


Supreme Court Rules on Niqab in Courtroom

December 20, 2012

The Supreme Court has rendered its decision in the case of R. v. N.S., which considered whether a sexual assault complainant could testify in Court while wearing a niqab for religious reasons.  One of the accused in the case argued that the niqab could not be worn as this would affect the ability of his […]

Supreme Court releases decision in Ecosociété v. Banro

April 18, 2012

The Supreme Court of Canada has released its decision in Les editions Ecosociété Inc, et al. v. Banro Corporation, a case in which CCLA intervened. It has dismissed publisher Ecosociété’s appeal, finding that Ontario is an appropriate forum for Banro’s defamation suit against it. Concerns had been raised that the choice to sue in Ontario […]