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Commission intervenes in court case involving a Muslim woman's right to testify wearing her niqab (face covering)

The central issue in this appeal is the apparent conflict between the intersecting religious and equality rights of a witness and the fair trial rights of the accused in the context of a criminal proceeding. The OHRC’s submissions set out a process, based in existing case law, to analyze and reconcile potentially competing rights. The proposed process can apply, with appropriate modifications, to any competing rights claims whether they arise under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter), human rights legislation, the common law or otherwise.

Creed, freedom of religion and human rights - Special issue of Diversity Magazine - Volume 9:3 Summer 2012

The articles presented here offer many insights on human rights, creed, freedom of religion and the law, and take many different positions based on many different perspectives. These articles serve as a starting point as we move forward to craft a new creed policy that reflects the changing needs and realities of today’s Ontarians.

Re: White liberal guilt

May 24, 2012

Tarek Fatah is wrong to suggest I or anyone else “forced” Toronto Police to allow Khalsa Sikhs to wear kirpans in courtrooms. Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire said the police were “pleased to have worked cooperatively to arrive at a procedure which recognizes the needs and rights of the Sikh community and the obligation to provide a safe, secure and accessible courthouse environment."

Khalsa Sikhs can wear kirpan in Toronto courthouses

May 15, 2012

Toronto – Sikhs who wish to enter a Toronto courthouse wearing a kirpan (stylized representation of a sword) now face fewer barriers according to a settlement reached with the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Police Services Board, and the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Toronto Police Service (“TPS”) agreed to revise its procedures to ensure that practicing members of the Sikh faith will be allowed to wear kirpans in public areas of courthouses, subject to an individualized risk assessment.

Human rights and creed

September 2013 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is updating its Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of Religious Observances. This page provides some general background information about the update, and what may be changing in the updated policy. It will be revised as the creed project evolves.

Creed case law review

May 2012 - What follows is a discussion of significant legal decisions dealing with religious and creed rights in Canada. The focus is on decisions made since the Commission issued its 1996 Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of religious observances. It does not review every decision, but those that may be important from a human rights perspective. In addition to a description of the case law, trends and areas where it is anticipated the case law will continue to evolve or be clarified are identified. The review will form the basis for further research and dialogue concerning the law in Canada as it relates to this significant area of human rights.

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