Charter First

Charter First: A Blueprint for Prioritizing Rights in Canadian Lawmaking

In recent years, we at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) have become increasingly concerned about the frequency and ease with which laws with clear constitutional vulnerabilities have been proposed and passed by Parliament — only to be challenged later, and, in some cases, be struck down by the courts for violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This report, and CCLA’s broader Charter First campaign, seek to address what we believe are critical accountability and transparency gaps in our federal lawmaking process that can enable the advancement of unconstitutional laws.
Lethal in Disguise

Lethal in Disguise: The Health Consequences of Crowd-Control Weapons

Over the past number of years, crowd-control weapons (CCWs) are increasingly being used in responding to popular protests. In a joint report "Lethal in Disguise: The Health Consequences of Crowd-Control Weapons", International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) have documented the health consequences of these weapons. The report aims to raise awareness about the misuse and abuse of CCWs, the detrimental health effects that these weapons can have, and the impact of their use on the meaningful enjoyment of freedom of assembly and expression. It also seeks to foster a global debate to develop international standards and guidelines on the use of CCWs with the ultimate goal of preventing injury, disability and death by providing information on these weapons and insisting on their safe use.

Report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association submits this brief to the Members of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“Committee”), in connection with the review of Canada’s sixth periodic report. CCLA’s briefing corresponds directly to the List of Issues set out by the Committee (E/C.12/CAN/Q/6). While CCLA has focused on select issues only, it is our view that all issues contained in the Committee’s List of Issues are vital to the creation of conditions in Canada whereby all persons can enjoy their economic, social, and cultural rights as well as their civil and political rights.

Drawing the Line: Tackling Tensions Between Religious Freedom and Equality

The International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO), of which the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is a member, released a report that addresses tensions between freedom of religion and equality rights and proposes resolutions to those tensions in three areas: LGBT rights, reproductive rights, and religious appearance. The report draws on the expertise of INCLO’s members across five continents in analyzing cases where religion and equality claims have competed in the courts.

Shadow Report to the UN Human Rights Committee on Canada’s Human Rights Record

CCLA's shadow report to the UN Human Rights Committee on the occasion of the sixth periodic review of Canada.

REPORT TO THE UN COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE (2012)

CCLA's report to the UN Committee Against torture

Set Up To Fail: Bail and the Revolving Door of Pre-trial Detention

This report explores serious issues with Canada's bail system. On any given day in 2012/2013, approximately 25,000 people were detained in Canada’s provincial jails. Over half of them were in pre-trial custody – legally innocent and waiting for their trial or a determination of their bail. Canada’s jails have not always looked like this. The remand rate has nearly tripled in the past 30 years, and 2005 marked the first time in Canadian history that our provincial institutions were primarily being used to detain people prior to any finding of guilt, rather than after they had been convicted and sentenced.

The Fundamentals of our Fundamental Freedoms

The Fundamentals of our Fundamental Freedoms: a primer on civil liberties and democracy by A. Alan Borovoy.

Presumption of Guilt?

In 2010 alone, Calgary and Edmonton police ran over 140,000 individual Background checks. While most of these checks are used to inform employment and volunteer hiring decisions, they are also frequently performed in connection with adoptions, foster care applications and travel.

Know Your Rights Booklet

When dealing with the police, it’s important to know what your rights are. CCLA has put together a manual to help you know what you must do, what you do not have to do, and what you may wish to do in situations involving the police.