West Coast LEAF intervenes in cases that will contribute to the equality of women in British Columbia and Canada. West Coast LEAF does not act as counsel for individual complainants, but can be a resource for women involved in equality rights litigation.

We use the following criteria for choosing cases:

  • The case must promote substantive equality for women, namely it must have the potential to change material conditions that create, sustain or promote women’s inequality. Ideally, a case will result in significant gains for women, or gains for a significant number of women.
  • Preference will be given to cases arising under the BC Human Rights Code, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or be about the application of Charter values on provincial legislation.
  • The case must be one that involves breaking new ground and/or establishing a legal precedent that affects the collective interests of women.
  • The case must enable the Court to decide the equality issue, meaning West Coast LEAF must assess whether or not the case may be decided on other legal issues or facts in the case instead of making a decision about the equality rights issue at stake.
  • Regardless of the merits of the case for any individual party or even women more generally, it must lend itself to fashioning a remedy capable of concretely advancing women’s equality rights, compensating for the harms caused by sexual inequality or redressing systemic inequality.
  • Cases with demonstrable potential for follow-up with respect to law reform, education, and monitoring the implementation of a successful decision will be given preference.
  • West Coast LEAF makes it a priority to find cases that have the potential to address issues of multiple discrimination. West Coast LEAF will give priority to work that addresses issues of multiple disadvantage – where, in addition to being disadvantaged by sex discrimination, women are also subject to discrimination based on race, religion, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, economic status, or other grounds.