Media Release – Getting Rid of Canada’s Kangaroo Courts

Civil Liberties, Commentary, Frontier Centre, Press Release, Role of Government

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy today released a report on Canada’s various “human rights” commissions and tribunals. The report, from University of Calgary professor Dr. Barry Cooper, analyzes the commissions and tribunals. In Canada’s “Schauprozess”—Show Trials: Free Speech and Canadian Human Rights Commissions, Cooper argues the following:

• Human rights commission (HRC) tribunals are essentially show trials not judicially respectable procedures, particularly those conducted under section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which deals with “hate speech” or, more accurately, with hurt feelings;

• HRCs are administrative organs, which is to say, bureaucratic organizations, and so susceptible to all the internal incentives for bureaucratic growth available to other parts of the Canadian state, both in Ottawa and provincially;

• As a consequence they have grown, and with growth comes confidence and moral certainty.

“What is interesting in this process is not the conventional smugness characteristic of superior bureaucrats,” writes Prof. Cooper, “ but the equal confidence of their critics for whom they are emperors without clothes and worthy if not of hatred then of ridicule.”

Cooper notes that in areas of public policy, Canada can provide a distant early warning to America: “Where Canada ‘excels’ and America lags is in the whole area of hate crimes and especially hate speech and, perhaps more importantly, hate thought.”

Cooper points out that Human Rights Commissions are not only not judicially respectable procedures, but that the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission Jennifer Lynch has been factually wrong on several key matters in her public columns. In general, writes Prof. Cooper, Canada’s many human rights commissions have become “a focus group for testing jokes.”

“In this context we should recall that Solzhenitsyn went to the Gulag for joking about Stalin’s moustache. Such real-life examples bring to mind the remark of 1st Century Roman poet Juvenal: ‘in times like these it is difficult to avoid writing satire.’”

Cooper advises Americans to learn from Canada’s poor example on free speech, and for Canadians to both beware of and ridicule the “human rights” bodies that are now the proper object of scorn.

Download a copy of Canada’s “Schauprozess”—Show Trials: Free Speech and Canadian Human Rights Commissions here:


For more information and to arrange an interview with the study’s author, media (only) should contact:

Dr. Barry Cooper

Gary Slywchuk
Troy Media Corporation