Test cases profiles
The following are public interest matters that LAO has supported.
Cultural assessment report considered in sentencing
In December 2014, police were investigating a home invasion when they approached Kevin Morris and three other black men in a parking lot. (It was later determined that none of the men had been involved in the home invasion).
Coroner's inquest jury finds implicit bias played a role in the death of Andrew Loku
On July 5, 2015, Andrew Loku, a South Sudanese refugee suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder connected to torture he suffered after being kidnapped in Sudan, was shot and killed by Toronto police officers responding to an emergency call about a man with a hammer threatening to kill someone.
Challenging funding limits for home visits for ‘complex care’ patients
In 2012, Ian Cole, a 52-year-old man born with a severe intellectual disability that prevents him from speaking, developed complications to a long-standing bladder disorder that caused him to need an increase in catheterizations by a nurse to five times a day—which was one more than the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) allowed for nurse visits to people living in the community. His mother, Audrey, was told that the CCAC had no options for providing the additional service other than placement of Mr. Cole in a long-term care facility.
Clarifying the connection between Aboriginal heritage and criminal sentencing
Under LAO's Aboriginal Justice Strategy, improving services for First Nation, Métis and Inuit clients has been paramount—and improving access to Gladue services has been an important part of this strategy. This was why, in 2016, LAO supported Andrew Kreko's appeal to challenge a trial judge who did not take Mr. Kreko's Aboriginal heritage into account at sentencing.
Knia Singh’s human rights application
In 2014, George “Knia” Singh was a law student who requested a ride-along with Toronto police. His request was denied because of information about him recorded by the police during numerous “street checks” starting when he was as young as 16.
Inquest into the death of Jermaine Carby
In 2014, Jermaine Carby, a 33-year-old Black Canadian, was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by police during a routine traffic stop in Brampton. He was shot and killed after police said he refused to drop a knife he was holding. In the inquest that followed in 2016, a coroner’s jury determined that Mr. Carby’s death was a homicide.
Access to remedies under the Human Rights Code
In 2015, LAO funded the joint intervention by the Mental Health Legal Committee (MHLC) and the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) in the judicial review of K.M. v Kodama before the Ontario Divisional Court.
Constitutional challenge to the designated country of origin regime
In 2015, LAO funded the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers’ (CARL) challenge to the law that says refugees from the designated country of origin (DCO) list aren’t allowed to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD).
Upholding the right to follow Anishinaabe law
In 2015, LAO supported Andrew Kingbird’s Aboriginal rights defence when he was charged with not having a life jacket on his motorboat. He sought to have the charge dismissed because the law infringed on his Aboriginal right to travel on the water for ceremonial purposes.
Protecting the privacy rights of sex-assault victims
In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that sexual assault victims cannot have police records unrelated to the case used against them in court.