Update on Human Rights Code Amendments

Update on Human Rights Code Amendments

Postby CLS » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:58 pm

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario continues to transition into its new role under the [i]Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006[i]. As of June 30, 2008, new rules of procedure for the Tribunal will take effect, and human rights claims will be filed directly with the Tribunal. The changes are summarized in the following excert from the Tribunal's website (http://www.hrto.ca/english/default.asp):

"UPDATE ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS CODE AMENDMENT ACT, 2006

The Ontario legislature has passed Bill 107. The Bill, now known as the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006 received Royal Assent on December 20, 2006.

Under this legislation, individuals will be able to file human rights complaints directly with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The Tribunal will make its new processes open, accessible, fair, and timely, and will ensure that parties have the opportunity to be heard before a matter within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal is concluded.

The changes which will permit claims to be filed directly with the Tribunal have not yet come into force. At this time, human rights complaints may only be filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The Government has proclaimed June 30, 2008 as the day on which the new Tribunal will open. Therefore, as of June 30, 2008, individuals and organizations will be able to file Applications directly with the Tribunal, in accordance with its new Rules of Procedure.

On June 30, 2008 the Tribunal will have all new procedures. The Tribunal will be consulting on Rules to govern these procedures before this start-up date. While the Tribunal will make its new Draft Rules available for public review and comment in the near future, you can review an outline of the Tribunal's proposed new process now: proposed new Tribunal process (word version) (pdf version).

As part of the Tribunal's expansion, the Tribunal is designing new and fully-accessible premises. As well, the Tribunal is continuing to recruit an expanded pool of adjudicators who will be able to undertake our new role as an active and expert Tribunal.

If you have questions about the Tribunal's preparations for its role in the new human rights system, the Questions and Answers on this web site may be of assistance.

If you have specific questions about an existing human rights complaint and how the new system may affect it, please consult the Ontario Human Rights Commission Web Site.

General information on the reforms may also be found on the web site of the Ministry of the Attorney General.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Release of draft new Rules of Practice and opportunity for consultation in advance of June 30, 2008"

More detailed information about the revised process for resolving human rights applications filed with the Tribunal can be found at the links on the Tribunal's homepage (see address above). Advocates working in this area are urged to review this information, and to check back with CLS here and with the Tribunal's website for more information as these significant changes are implemented.

Kathryn M. Bullon
Associate Legal Education Coordinator,
Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
Kathryn M. Bullon, B.Sc., J.D., M.Ad.Ed.
Legal Education Co-Coordinator
Community Law School
CLS
Site Admin
 
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