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Law Gender & The Law

Balancing Competing Human Rights Claims in a Diverse Society

Institutions, Policy, Principles

edited by Shaheen Azmi, Lorne Foster & Lesley A. Jacobs

Irwin Law Inc.
Initial publish date
Nov 2012
Gender & the Law
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
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    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
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Published in Cooperation with the Ontario Human Rights Commission

As societies around the world embrace diversity, certain challenges and tensions have become visible that were not fully anticipated. In particular the practice of human rights has become increasingly complex  in Canada and other diverse societies because more and more often the claim to a right of one individual or group directly affects the claim to the human rights of another group. The challenge of balancing these competing human rights claims is the focus of this book. Beginning in 2005,  the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) began a process to develop the first policy in Canada to address competing human rights claims. This policy development included extensive consultation with the public, academics, human rights commissions elsewhere in the country, and stakeholders in the human rights community in Ontario. These efforts resulted in a policy for Ontario which was released in April 2012. Part One of this book presents this policy and a series of chapters that provide instructive background for the development of the policy. Part Two broadens the scope of the discussion by exploring broad principles at stake when human rights compete.


About the authors

Shaheen Azmi is the director of Policy, Outreach, and Education of the Ontario

Human Rights Commission.


Shaheen Azmi's profile page

Lorne Foster is the director of the graduate program in Public Policy Administration and Law (MPPAL), and a professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) and the Department of Equity Studies (DES) at York University.


Lorne Foster's profile page

Les Jacobs is professor of law and society and political science, and director of the Institute for Social Research at York University. He is also executive director of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, the country’s leading pan-Canadian think tank devoted to access-to-justice issues, housed at Osgoode Hall Law School. He has held a range of distinguished visiting appointments at other universities, including Harvard Law School; the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies; the Law Commission of Canada; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Toronto; Emory University; and Waseda Law School, Tokyo. His many other books include Rights and Deprivation (1993); The Democratic Politics of Vision (1997); Pursuing Equal Opportunities (2004); Balancing Competing Human Rights in a Diverse Society (2012); and Linking Global Trade and Human Rights: New Policy Space in Hard Economic Times (2014).

Lesley A. Jacobs' profile page

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