Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne and Yazbeck is representing Donna Mowat before the Supreme Court of Canada, challenging the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision which held that successful complainants are not entitled to compensation for legal costs under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Ms Mowat, who had substantiated a claim of sexual harassment before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, was awarded $47,000 in legal costs by the Tribunal. In quashing this decision, the Federal Court of Appeal held that the Tribunal’s authority to order compensation for “expenses” incurred as a result of discrimination did not include legal expenses. Ms Mowat maintains that legal expenses fall within the definition of expenses given the broad and liberal interpretation to be accorded to human rights legislation, the broader legislative context which supports this interpretation, and the underlying purpose of the Act, which is the eradication of discrimination.
The Appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court on December 13, 2010.