Human Rights Legal Support Centre

Finding Human Rights Decisions

This is general information only. It is not legal advice about your situation. This publication is not a substitute for a lawyer’s research, analysis and judgment.


Why would I want to read human rights decisions?

If you have filed a human rights application, or are considering doing so, it can be helpful to read decisions of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that deal with other cases similar to your own. You may find a decision that is about a factual situation that is similar to the facts in your human rights application. This can help you figure out if whether what happened to you would be considered by the Tribunal to be discrimination under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. It can also help you figure out if the person or corporation responding to your human rights application would have a legal basis for defending against your application. By reading other decisions, you will also learn about the kinds of remedies and the level of financial compensation that has been awarded in other cases.

If you find cases that are similar to your case, you can bring those decisions to the attention of the Tribunal at your mediation or hearing. This can help you to explain why your application should be decided positively by the Tribunal.


How can I find human rights decisions?

There are a number of sources where you can find human rights decisions.

On the Internet

Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) is a web service which provides free access to complete court and tribunal decisions. CanLII includes all Canadian Provinces as well as the Federal Court of Canada.

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) decisions released after January 1, 2000 can be found at HRTO decisions on CanLII.

Decisions of the Tribunal are also available for a paid fee or subscription from legal reporter services. These services are: the Canadian Human Rights Reporter and Quicklaw.

Some general human rights law is also available at Ontario Court decisions and the Supreme Court of Canada website.


Other sources

Courthouse libraries

Courthouse and law school libraries have tribunal and court decisions, text books and other materials, including the Canadian Human Rights Reporter (CHRR). The CHRR index can help you to find decisions similar to your situation.

The location of the nearest courthouse in your community can be found at Court Addresses.

Law school libraries

Law libraries can be found at the University of Toronto, York University, the University of Western Ontario, Queen’s University, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Windsor.

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

If you do not have access to the internet, you can phone the Tribunal to request a copy of a particular decision. All written decisions of the Tribunal are available to the public.