OTTAWA—Animal Justice, a national animal law advocacy organization, is applauding a decision released today by the Supreme Court of Canada that upholds a broad conception of public interest standing, and may assist animals in accessing the courts in the future.
Animal Justice intervened in the case of British Columbia (Attorney General) v Council of Canadians with Disabilities. At issue in the case was how and when public interest standing should be granted, including when an advocacy organization can launch a case on behalf of someone else.
Animals have not yet been found to have legal standing in their own right. That’s why Animal Justice argued in its intervention that it’s essential for advocacy groups like Animal Justice to be granted public interest standing to launch legal challenges on animals’ behalf.
“Animals have historically been largely shut out of the Canadian legal system, and courts have regularly denied public interest standing to individuals and organizations that seek to give voice to suffering animals,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “The Supreme Court’s decision today makes it clear that marginalized groups face already ‘formidable obstacles’ in accessing the court system, and upholds a broad conception of public interest standing.”
The Supreme Court decision in the case is available here.
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