COVID-19 & the Charter |

COVID-19 and the Charter

Watch the two minute teaser above before purchasing this video.

To purchase this video please click “Add to Cart”.

Login to watch this video if you have a subscription. Learn more about subscriptions.
Professionalism (Ethics, etc.): 0.25
25 minutes
Substantive: 0.75
45 minutes
Sayeh Hassan
Jonathan Roth
Rebecca Rutherford
Janani Shanmuganathan
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
70 minutes
$119.00 plus tax

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in both federal and provincial governments putting in place measures and restrictions to protect the health of Canadians.  While many of these measures have been implemented with the good intention of protecting the health of Canadians and reducing the stress on hospitals, the measures have also engaged the Charter in different ways. 

This timely program, “Covid-19 and The Charter” explores the different ways in which various government measures and restrictions have engaged and impacted civil liberties, criminal law and access to justice. This includes the Courts’ approach to Covid-19 related Charter challenges, including the level of deference to legislatures and the way the Courts have afforded that deference.  Some of the ways Courts have departed from the usual principles of constitutional interpretation in the Covid-19 context will be highlighted. 

Our experienced panel will discuss the issue of delay caused by Covid-19 in the criminal courts and the approaches the courts and the governments have taken in dealing with this delay including the Legal Aid introduction of Judge Led Intensive Case Management Certificates.

The program will address the ways in which Covid-19 has impacted access to justice in the criminal courts and the steps lawyers and other court participants can take to alleviate some of the concerns surrounding access to justice. 

Topics include:

  • How have government measures impacted civil liberties, criminal law and access to justice?
  • What is the Courts’ approach to Covid-19 related Charter challenges?
  • What is the level of deference to legislatures?
  • How have Courts departed from the principles of constitutional interpretation?
  • Issues of delay
  • Impact on access to justice


Sayeh Hassan

Sayeh Hassan is a criminal defence lawyer practicing with Walter Fox & Associates. She completed her Hons. BA at Carleton University in Psychology and Mass Communication and achieved an LL.B. at the University of Ottawa in 2006. She has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Jonathan Roth

Jonathan Roth is a skilled advocate widely recognized for his impeccable reputation within the legal and broader communities.

Before founding Roth Advocacy, Jonathan litigated on Bay Street both with an international law firm and the federal Department of Justice, where he advised and represented the Attorney General of Canada, and departments and agencies of government, before the courts and administrative tribunals. He has appeared in the Federal Courts and at all levels of court in Ontario, and has briefed matters before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Jonathan has intimate knowledge of the courts, having served as a judicial clerk to the judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Province’s highest appellate court. Jonathan takes seriously his relationships with judges, counsel and especially clients.

In addition to a robust commercial litigation practice, Jonathan maintains an active practice focused on public law, including a recent Charter challenge to the federal government’s hotel quarantine order. Jonathan’s work has been published in or reported by the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, CTV News, CBC News, Radio Canada International, the Vancouver Sun, the News Forum and Canadian Lawyer magazine.

Jonathan holds a Juris Doctor, with Honours, from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he received academic awards in the areas of advocacy, taxation, estate planning and international trade law. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys reading, spending time with his family, and Peleton rides.

The Honourable Justice Rebecca Rutherford

Justice Rutherford graduated from the University of Windsor Law School in 1985. She practiced as a criminal defence lawyer for 22 years before her appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2008. Justice Rutherford presides at the College Park Courthouse in Toronto. Pre-Covid Justice Rutherford was the judicial lead of College Park’s Gladue Court. Justice Rutherford has presented at numerous criminal justice seminars and programs.

Janani Shanmuganathan

Janani Shanmuganathan is a criminal appellate and trial lawyer. She has her own firm, Goddard & Shanmuganathan LLP. She regularly appears at the Ontario Court of Appeal and has been counsel at the Supreme Court of Canada in several matters. Outside of the courtroom, Janani teaches other lawyers, law students, and undergraduates. She lectures at legal education programs on trial and appellate advocacy. She is also an adjunct professor of Evidence Law at Osgoode Hall Law School and has taught in the undergraduate Criminology program at the University of Toronto.

Practice Areas

Share this Page