Ontario's Divisional Court rejects police and doctor's efforts to bar human rights claims

TORONTO, May 28, 2015 /CNW/ - The Human Rights Legal Support Centre successfully defended two clients seeking justice beyond the narrow scope of a professional regulatory body's oversight. 

In the first case, on behalf of Mr. DeLottinville, the Court upheld the right to pursue a discrimination claim against a police officer at the Human Rights Tribunal, notwithstanding a prior discipline complaint under the Police Services Act.  The court refused to reject the decision of the Human Rights Tribunal in Claybourn v Toronto Police, allowing the human rights claim to proceed against the police. 

The second case, K.M. v Kodama, arose out of Human Rights Tribunal application against a doctor who allegedly subjected a transgender patient to discriminatory treatment.  The Centre successfully argued that the application should be allowed to proceed before the Tribunal despite a prior discipline complaint to the College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

In their ruling, the three judge panel underlined "victims of discrimination, who are often from marginalized communities, may be forced to choose which route to take" and that when "professional regulatory tribunals exercise their mandate in a diligent and responsible way, public confidence is maintained and increased in the provision of services being regulated, such as police and medical services.  Human rights tribunals have as their goal the provision of ready access to remedies, whether systemic or personal, designed to prevent discriminatory behaviour and to compensate the victims of such behaviour."

"Our clients can now have their cases heard at the human rights tribunal, where they can ask for both personal compensation and concrete changes to police and medical practices," said Kathy Laird, Executive Director of the Centre.

Intervenors in OPP v. DeLottinville included the African Canadian Legal Clinic, Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.  Intervenors in Kodama v. K.M. included the HIV and Aids Legal Clinic of Ontario (HALCO) and the Mental Health Legal Committee (MHLC). 

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides free legal support to people across Ontario whose human rights under Ontario's Human Rights Code have been violated.

SOURCE Human Rights Legal Support Centre

For further information: Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre, 416-597-4958, mobile: 416-522-5931


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