An important victory for equality and access to justice rights for people with disabilities

Date: 
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society is an important victory for equality and access to justice rights in Canada, particularly for the most marginalized in our society.

ARCH was granted intervener status at the Supreme Court as part of a coalition including Justice for Children and Youth (JFCY) and West Coast LEAF. The Coalition intervened in this case to argue that representative groups should be allowed to bring forward important cases on behalf of those who do not have effective access to justice on their own.  People with disabilities face considerable obstacles to accessing justice and advancing their legal rights in court.
 
The decision is important since it paves the way for greater access to our courts for vulnerable persons, including persons with disabilities.  The Supreme Court recognized the practical barriers that marginalized individuals face in bringing forward complex constitutional litigation, and has affirmed the right of individuals to work collectively to challenge laws that heighten their vulnerability.

The full decision can be read at:   http://scc.lexum.org/en/2012/2012scc45/2012scc45.html