Zündel is trying to have the decision of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal dismissed because there is a reasonable apprehension of bias created in the wording that states that members of the Tribunal must be "sensitive" to human rights issues in s.48.1(2) of the Canadian Human Rights Act. He claims that this creates a bias to find in favor of parties who are alleged to have been discriminated against.
- Does the statement “Persons appointed as members of the Tribunal must have experience, expertise and interest in, and sensitivity to, human rights” (s.48.1(2) of the Canadian Human Rights Act) create an apprehension of bias in the members to side with claimants in human rights cases?
The court unanimously dismisses the appeal. They hold that although Zündel might be raising a good point the reasons that these requirements are in place (they were enacted in 1999) is to ensure that members can view human rights situations objectively. They say that these words must be read in context with the rest of the section and the Act as a whole, and when this is done it is clear that they are in place only to exclude people who have a closed mind, or are uneducated in the field of human rights from serving on Tribunals.
Members of Canadian Human Rights Tribunals must be able to view situations objectively and in order to do this properly they must be educated and sensitive to human rights in general.