The Charter Symposium brought together political scientists, legal scholars, and legal practitioners to exchange knowledge with rights advocacy groups, student, and members of the public on how the Charter must be further developed to bring more equity for disadvantaged groups in Windsor-Essex and beyond.Organized by Dr. Emmanuel Richez, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor (Windsor, Ontario) as part of her position as Humanities Research Group Fellow for the 2022-2023 academic year. The one-day event was held at the University of Windsor on Friday, March 3rd, 2023,
The first main objective of the Charter Symposium was to generate and to share knowledge that will better equip disadvantaged individuals and groups representing them to have their Charter rights and freedoms recognized, clarified, and enforced. The Charter Symposium consisted of three panels. The first panel will tackle access to justice under the Charter. The second panel will explore how human rights protected by the Charter can be expanded to aid vulnerable groups (sections 2 and 15), while the third panel will focus on how to increase the scope of languages rights for official language minority communities (sections 16 to 23 of the Charter). The Charter symposium concludedl with a formal networking session, an opportunity for local advocacy groups to build relationships with academics and legal practitioners in view of furthering Charter rights and freedoms.
The second main objective of the project was to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion among women, religious minorities, official languages communities, Indigenous Peoples, disabled persons, etc. Panellists and students working for the Charter symposium were from diverse backgrounds. Simultaneous translation in French and English was provided for presenters to speak, and for audience members to listen, in their preferred Canadian official language. The Charter Symposium was also broadcasted live online, for free, in both French and in English for those who could not attend in person due to cost or disability, thereby reaching as many people as possible. The recordings of the panels will be made permanently available free-of-charge online. Papers stemming from the panelists' presentations will be published in the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, which is a bilingual open-sourced journal hosted by the Leddy Library.