Because Charter cases often deal with broad public policy issues, Courts are permitted to formally allow an external third party to participate and make submissions on the issues being considered in your action. This is known as Intervenor Status.

Government Intervenors

Intervenors can intervene on either side of a dispute. Because of the public policy issues that arise in Charter cases, government parties (including the Attorney General of Canada, and the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta) have the right to intervene in Charter cases. This is why they must be given notice in advance of a Charter claim (click here for more information).

Private Intervenors

Non-government organizations, special interests groups and civil liberties associations are frequent intervenors. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is a regular intervenor in Canada. CCLA will seek to intervene in cases where they are able to “make legal arguments on civil liberties issues on behalf of all Canadians so that their rights are protected, preserved, and perhaps even expanded”. In addition, the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is known to intervene in cases that involve issues important to gender and equality rights.