The Human Rights Tribunal was created in 1990 when major amendments to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms came into effect.
The Human Rights Tribunal consists of at least seven members appointed by the government, namely a president chosen from among the judges of the Court of Québec and six assessors, all selected for their experience, expertise, sensitivity and interest in matters of human rights and freedoms.
As a specialized tribunal, the Human Rights Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and rule on complaints concerning discrimination and harassment grounded on one of the motives prohibited under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It can also hear cases concerning the exploitation of elderly people and people with disabilities as well as matters concerning affirmative action programs.
People wishing in taking a case to the Tribunal because they believe they have been the victim of discrimination, harassment or exploitation, which is prohibited by the Charter, must first submit a complaint to the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse .
After determining whether the case is admissible, the Commission will investigate and decide whether to submit an application to the Tribunal or any other court having jurisdiction. If it does so, the Commission will represent the complainant before the chosen court. When it decides not to submit an application to the Human Rights Tribunal, the complainant may, under certain conditions, submit an application, at his or her own expense, asking the Tribunal to render a decision.
For more information
Website for the Human Rights Tribunal
Rulings by the Human Rights Tribunal since 1991 (website of the Canadian Legal Information Institute)
Rulings by the Human Rights Tribunal since January 14, 2002 (In French)