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Adversarial approach


Hearing during which the parties are heard in person before an arbitrator, a judge, a commissioner or any other authorized decision maker in accordance with the principles of natural justice (right to be heard by an impartial and independent tribunal).



Arrangement or settlement between two or more people.



A party's statement of facts or arguments on which it bases its claim.





Refers to all of the decisions rendered by courts. It is also the principles of law that stem from court decisions and enable to interpret or clarify the meaning of laws.



Ability or aptitude of a court or an organization to hear a case and decide on it.



Party who files a complaint against another before a court or a body such as the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. Learn more about the complaint process of the Commission...

Contractual obligation


Obligation arising from a contract. Private companies who do business with the Government of Quebec may be subject to a contract compliance program (depending on their size and the amount of the contract). This program requires that they establish an employment equity program for the four target groups designated by the government: women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and disabled persons. Learn more about contract compliance programs...

Corrective measures


Measure sought in a proceeding by one of the parties. For example, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse may request a corrective measure from the respondent to remedy a situation or compensate the victim.

Court order


Court decision requiring a person to do something or to abstain from doing a specific action.

Criminal record


File concerning a person against whom a court has issued a criminal conviction for a violation of a law or regulation.



Differential treatment


Different treatment given to a person based on certain personal characteristics. For example, if a service provider, a landlord, a police officer or an employer treats an individual differently because of his or her race, colour, ethnic or national origin or religion, it is considered a differential treatment.

Direct discrimination


Distinction, exclusion or preference that openly and avowedly targets a person or a group, that is based on a prohibited ground under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, and that effectively nullifies or compromises the exercise of a right or a freedom protected by the Charter. Learn more about discrimination...



Conflict, dispute or misunderstanding.



Distinction, exclusion or preference based on a ground prohibited by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that effectively nullifies or compromises a right or a freedom protected by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Learn more about discrimination...



Disagreement or conflict that can either be the subject of an agreement or be brought before a court.

Duty of reasonable accommodation


Legal obligation, arising from the right to equality that applies in situations of discrimination. It allows for the adjustment of a standard or a universal practice by granting differential treatment to a person who would otherwise be penalized by the application of this standard. There is no duty to accommodate in cases of undue hardship. Learn more about the duty of reasonable accommodation...



Emergency measure


A court order while the Commission investigate a complaint or to brings a case before a tribunal, to ensure that evidence is not lost, the protection of a victim of discrimination, harassment or exploitation, or to protect his or her assets.

Extrajudicial measures


Measures, other than court proceedings that can be used in circumstances described in the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The Act provides for two types of extrajudicial measures: those applied by police officers and those applied by the provincial director under the extrajudicial sanctions program. The manner in which the extrajudicial sanctions program is applied is determined by the provincial director, who in Québec is the Director of Youth Protection (DYP).



Groups targeted by equal access to employment programs


Women, Aboriginal peoples, ethnic minorities, visible minorities and disabled persons. Learn more about equal access to employment programs...





Offensive, disparaging, hostile or unwanted behaviour or remarks towards a person or a group of persons that undermines their dignity or their psychological or physical health. A single, serious incident, if it has a lasting harmful effect on the targeted person, can also constitute harassment. Learn more about harassment...



Indirect discrimination


Distinction, exclusion or preference that is based on the application of an apparently neutral rule, policy or practice, but that has harmful effects on a person or group presenting certain personal characteristics, and that effectively nullifies or compromises a right or a freedom protected by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Learn more about discrimination...

Intensive supervision


In youth protection matters, a unit within a rehabilitation centre that provides intensive monitoring of a child's behaviour and movements that presents a serious risk of danger to him-or-herself or others. Learn more about youth protection...





Decision or ruling rendered by a judge or a court.

Juridical act


Expression of the will of one or several individuals to create, modify or extinguish a right. For example: a contract, a collective agreement, an insurance policy or a will. Learn more about juridical acts...



Legal obligation


Obligation imposed by law.



Memorandum of agreement


Written and signed agreement in which parties agree to settle their disagreement in exchange for various negotiated provisions.





Punishable criminal or penal act or omission that is defined by law.

Out of court settlement


Settlement or agreement reached between two parties without the intervention of a court or an arbitrator.





Person participating in a juridical act. For example, a person who signs a contract or a person involved in a court action or concerned by it.

Personal characteristic


The grounds for discrimination prohibited under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms are personal characteristics, that is to say individual characteristics that are permanent or difficult to change, such as race, colour, sex, ethnic origin or disability. Learn more about the grounds of discrimination...



Assertion by the accused where he or she declares to be guilty or not guilty of the offence charged.



Bias, preconceived opinion or attitude. Also: Voluntary or involuntary harm done to others.



Time period within which a person may acquire or lose a right. This period varies depending on the relevant right or law at issue. For example, a person usually has a maximum of three years after the event to file legal action in cases of discrimination. However, in cases where legal action is brought against a municipality (or one of its services, such as the police), this period is of only six months after the event. The Commission can also refuse to investigate when a complaint is filed more than two years after the event.

Previous conviction


Criminal or penal offenses for which a person has been convicted.

Prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Charter


Race, colour, sex, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, civil status, age (except as provided by law), religion, political convictions, language, ethnic or national origin, social condition, a disability or the use of any means to palliate a disability, as set-out in article 10 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Learn more about discrimination...



Specific clause in a contract, a measure contained in a law, a treaty; a regulation or order, an issue resolved by a judgment.



Racial profiling


Any action taken by one or more people in authority with respect to a person or group of persons, for reasons of safety, security or public order, that is based on actual or presumed membership in a group defined by race, colour, ethnic or national origin or religion. Taken without factual grounds or reasonable suspicion, these actions can result in the person or group being exposed to differential treatment. Learn more about our opinion on racial profiling...

Racialized groups


Groups that are targeted by a process of racialization. As part of this process, races are socially constructed and are not based on scientific or objective knowledge. The races thus defined are considered real, different and unequal. In Canada, Aboriginal peoples, Blacks, Latin Americans, Asians and Arabs are generally considered racialized groups. Learn more about race as a ground of discrimination...



Theory or ideology, based on the assumption that there are separate human races, which considers these races unequal. Racism leads to hostile and contemptuous attitudes and behaviours towards certain people because of their color or of their ethnic or national origin. Learn more about race as a ground of discrimination...

Reasonable accommodation


Means used to put an end to any situation of discrimination based on handicap, religion, age or any other ground prohibited by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Reasonable accommodation is an obligation for employers and service providers. Learn more about reasonable accommodation...



Compensation granted to the victim that has been harmed.



Under the Youth Protection Act, to contact the Director of Youth Protection in order to inform him or her of the situation of a child whose security or development is or may be compromised. Learn more about youth protection...



Actions taken by an individual or group to inflict a physical, financial or other type of disadvantage in retaliation to another person’s actions. Learn more about reprisals as a ground of discrimination...



Party who is the subject of a complaint filed with the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. Learn more about the complaint process of the Commission...

Right to equality


Right, guaranteed by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, to exercise our rights and freedoms without distinction, exclusion or preference based on one or more prohibited grounds of discrimination.





Preconceived or caricatured image based on prejudice that is repeatedly attributed to and imposed upon a group either by the community or cultural practices. Stereotyping can lead to discrimination and exclusion.



Summons requiring that a person be present at a specific time and place to testify or provide documents (subpoena duces tecum). The law establishes penalties for those who do not comply with this notice (arrest warrant issued by a judge, detention, payment of the cost incurred).

Systemic discrimination


Discrimination resulting from the dynamic interaction between decisions and attitudes that are tinged with prejudice, as well as from organizational models and institutional practices that have prejudicial effects (intended or not) on groups protected by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Learn more about discrimination...



To apply to a court


To request that a court examine a claim or a request.



Person who, by virtue of a law or a court order, has the responsibility of caring for and of administering the property of a minor or, in some cases, of an incapacitated adult.



Undue hardship


In a situation of discrimination, factor taken into account to assess whether a given accommodation measure is reasonable or not. Undue hardship is assessed, in particular, on the basis the cost of the accommodation, its impact on the organization’s operations and on the rights of others. Learn more about reasonable accommodation measures...



Violation of rights


Failure to respect rights under the Youth Protection Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. These acts protect children and youth in the care of institutions, organizations or individuals (a foster family, the Director of Youth Protection, a group home, etc.). Learn more about youth protection...


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