On August 17, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to the Coalition of Speciality Community Legal Clinics, which includes HALCO, to intervene in a case about the legal test for public interest standing. The press release is available here. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia decision that is being appealed to the Supreme Court is available here.
Public interest standing is the way that public interest organizations can start litigation on behalf of groups of individuals. For many marginalized and equity seeking groups, public interest standing is an important tool for access to justice because it can be difficult and expensive for individuals to start a lawsuit themselves.
HALCO previously intervened in Canada (Attorney General) v Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society, 2012 SCC 45, which created a fair test for when to allow public interest standing. In the current case, the Coalition will argue that the courts should apply that test in a way that protects access to justice.
The Coalition of Speciality Community Legal Clinics is made up of:
• ARCH Disability Law Centre (ARCH)
• Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
• Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
• Chinese Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC)
• South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO)
• HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO)