Supreme Court Hearings - Canadian Human Rights Commission, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada
Canadian Human Rights Commission, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada - December 13, 2010
At issue in this appeal is whether the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to award legal costs.
Donna Mowat is a former Master Corporal with the Canadian Armed Forces. In 1998, Mowat filed a sexual discrimination and harassment complaint against the Forces with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Her complaint included an allegation of sexual harassment. Mowat was seeking compensation of more than $430,000.
In 2005, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal dismissed all of Mowat’s allegations, except for her sexual harassment claim. She was awarded $4,000 plus interest in damages for pain and suffering.
Mowat was also awarded $47,000 for legal costs. The Attorney General of Canada applied for a judicial review of the Tribunal's decision. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the Tribunal did not have the authority to award legal costs.