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Helping to carry on Clayton Ruby’s remarkable legacy by supporting public interest litigation and rights defenders today and for the future.

The Clayton Ruby Fund was established at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in 2023 with a generous donation from long-time supporter Elaine Slater and her family. Their goal was to provide financial stability for CCLA while also honouring Clayton Ruby as an outstanding champion of rights and freedoms.

Funds donated to the Clayton Ruby Fund will be used to inspire, engage and support the next generation of litigators who will carry on Mr. Ruby’s tradition of using the law to create more social justice for all people in Canada.

The Clayton Ruby Fund has two components:

  • An endowment fund for long-term financial sustainability
  • Funding for immediate advocacy and litigation work at CCLA and other organizations in defence of Charter rights and freedoms, and summer fellowships in public interest litigation for law students.

Donors to the Clayton Ruby Fund can choose whether they would like to designate their gift to the endowment fund or to fund immediate work in public interest litigation and student fellowships.

Clayton Ruby:

A Tireless Champion of Rights & Freedoms

"One of the things that’s so impressive about Clay’s legacy is that there wasn’t a social justice issue whether it was abortion rights, gay rights, animal rights, transit, the environment, you name it – just about every socially progressive cause that came along, Clay was involved in it. He played an active role in promoting many causes and very effectively.

He always felt it was his duty to stand up to authority and to protect people who were vulnerable to being pushed around by authority."

Douglas ElliottFriend and Colleague of Clayton Ruby

The Globe & Mail described Clayton Ruby as “a left-wing burr in the saddle of the establishment.” The Canadian Lawyer called him “famous for standing up for the little guy.” Colleagues recalled that his first legal strategy was to search for the solution that would increase the social justice in the world.

From an article by Beth Symes & Constance BackhouseOriginally published by the Law Society of Ontario Gazette, September 2022

Clayton Ruby was a fearless advocate who breathed life into the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Many of the constitutional rights and freedoms we take for granted today have been the direct result of Clay’s tireless efforts. He has inspired generations of lawyers, judges and academics who dare to dream of a more equitable, more fair and more humane Canada.

Nader R. HasanCCLA Board Member & Friend and Colleague of Clayton Ruby

From the time he was in law school, Clayton Ruby used his considerable skills and passion for justice to help individuals understand, defend and claim their rights. As a lawyer for more than 50 years, Clayton Ruby was involved in some of the most iconic legal cases and social movements in Canada over the past several decades and used these cases to advance the rights and freedoms of all people in the country.

Whether it was defending Dr. Henry Morgentaler for providing abortion services, advocating for LGBTQ rights in the military with the Michelle Douglas case, defending Guy Paul Morin who had been wrongfully convicted, and many other important cases, Clayton Ruby devoted his career to creating more justice and more rights and freedoms for all people in Canada.

Elaine Slater & Family

Elaine Slater was a dedicated member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for several years. Knowing first-hand how hard it can be to fund the kind of advocacy work CCLA has been doing since the organization’s founding in 1964, Elaine Slater chose to make a significant contribution to establish an endowment fund to benefit CCLA’s work in perpetuity. Moved by the news of Clayton Ruby’s passing in August 2022, Elaine requested the fund be named in his honour, as a tribute to his career-long dedication to working for justice, rights and civil liberties. CCLA is grateful to Mr. Ruby’s family for agreeing to this request.

Elaine Slater

You can support public interest litigation and help create the next generation of public interest litigators by donating to the Clayton Ruby Fund at CCLA

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