CCLA Opposed to “No Demonstration” Bail Conditions

November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010 – Toronto – Jaggi Singh will be in court this week to challenge a bail condition that prohibits him from organizing or participating in any form of public demonstration. The condition was imposed on Mr. Singh following his arrest on conspiracy charges relating to the June 2010 G20 Summit.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is opposed to this type of bail condition, which has been imposed on numerous social demonstrators arrested in connection with the G20 Summit. The phrasing and broad scope of these bail terms create a significant risk of misinterpretation, have a punitive impact and are not rationally connected to the promotion of public safety. In the CCLA’s view, these terms are an unacceptable restriction of constitutional rights and should be revoked.

Bail conditions that unduly restrict peaceful political activity fail to appropriately balance concerns about public safety or the commission of future crimes with Charter rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly. When persons are arrested in the context of public demonstrations and are only released on the condition that they refrain from publicly expressing their opinions, it amounts to an attempt to silence debate and criticisms of the government.

The CCLA has previously written to the Attorney General of Ontario to ask him to take action against the use of this type of bail condition.

A copy of our letter to the Attorney General can be downloaded here.

A copy of the Attorney General’s reply can be downloaded here.

Media Contact:

Penelope Chester
(416) 363-0321 ex. 225
media@ccla.org