Constitutional and Public Interest Law

Frances lives and breathes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Fighting for civil liberties is at the core of her law practice. She represents individuals and non-profits across the country in constitutional and public interest cases engaging Charter rights, particularly criminal law, immigration and human rights issues.

Frances is proud to have represented a number of non-profit organizations as interveners at all levels of court in Canada, including the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Start Proud (formerly Out On Bay Street), Pivot Legal Society, the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights.

Frances is a proud queer lawyer. She has many years of experience advocating on behalf of the LGBTTQ2SIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit, intersex and asexual) community, both in and out of the courtroom. Frances represented queer law students and lawyers in Trinity Western University v. the Law Society of Upper Canada, a case involving the right of equal access to legal education. She currently represents Dr. Joshua M. Ferguson at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in their fight to achieve legal recognition for non-binary individuals on British Columbia identification.

Notable cases include:

Chhina v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), heard at the Supreme Court of Canada on November 14, 2018 (decision forthcoming) (with British Columbia Civil Liberties Association)

Trinity Western University v. the Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 33 (also at the Ontario Court of Appeal and Divisional Court) (with Start Proud and the OUTlaws)

Representation at a coroner’s inquest for the family of Phuong Na “Tony” Du, a Vietnamese man experiencing schizophrenia who was shot and killed by the Vancouver Police Department (with Pivot Legal Society)

R. v. Borowiec, 2016 SCC 11 (with LEAF)

Henry v. British Columbia (AG), 2015 SCC 24 (with British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights)

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