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Investigation - Human rights

Investigation - Human rights

Investigation - Human rights

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The Commission may conduct an investigation on its own initiative or pursuant to a complaint. When a complaint is received, the Commission must first assess it. It verifies whether the complainant and the respondent wish to settle the case by either mediation or arbitration. When mediation or arbitration is refused by one or both of the parties, or when mediation fails, the Commission conducts an investigation.

In what cases can the Commission investigate?

The Commission may investigate in the following situations:

The Commission may refuse to investigate, if:

  • the complaint is filed more than 2 years after the facts (6 months after the facts when city employees are involved, including municipal police)
  • the victim or the complainant does not have sufficient interest in the case, for example, they are not concerned by the complaint
  • the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith
  • the victim or complainant has pursued an other remedy for the same facts

What does an investigation consist of?

The purpose of the investigation is to verify:

  1. if the discrimination, discriminatory harassment or exploitation can be proven
  2. that the complainant suffered material or moral prejudice as a result

At the end of the investigation, the Commission decides whether there is sufficient evidence. If so, it may recommend corrective measures or represent the complainant before the Tribunal.

What happens during an investigation?

An investigation by the Commission is not a trial. It is conducted by an investigator who submits a report to the Complaints Committee.

  1. An investigator is assigned to the case
    1. The investigator contacts the parties and witnesses to collect their versions of the facts. The individuals who were contacted by the investigator may be assisted by a lawyer or a person of their choice.
    2. The investigator obtains the relevant documents to analyze the situation.
    3. Once the information is collected, the investigator prepares a report summarizing the relevant evidence, and submits it to the parties for comments.
    4. The investigator may propose the negotiation of a settlement or arbitration to the parties at any time.
    5. The investigator files the report with the Complaints Committee.
  2. The Complaints Committee, is made up by three members of the Commission:
    1. Studies the report and determines whether there is sufficient evidence to prove discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or exploitation.
    2. If the members of the Committee believe that the evidence is sufficient, it decides on the appropriate remedy, which includes:
      • putting an end to the alleged act
      • payment of an indemnity
      • performance of a specific action
    3. If these measures are not implemented within the time set by the Commission, it may ask a court, including the Human Rights Tribunal, to order that they be implemented.
      • The Commission represents the complainant before the court, and assumes the costs of the trial.
      • In some cases, the Commission may decide not to apply to the Human Rights Tribunal.
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Did you know?

A dispute can be settled amicably by mediation at any stage of the investigation. .

 

Emergency measures

The Commission may ask a court to order emergency measures when it has reasons to believe that the life, health or safety of a victim of discrimination, harassment or exploitation is in danger, or that evidence may be lost.