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Leading cases: Complaint made in bad faith or for improper purposes

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Section 27(1)(e)

Section 27(1)(e) of the Human Rights Code allows the Human Rights Tribunal to dismiss a complaint if the complainant made it in bad faith or for improper purposes:

Dismissal of a complaint 

27  (1) A member or panel may, at any time after a complaint is filed and with or without a hearing, dismiss all or part of the complaint if that member or panel determines that any of the following apply:

(e) the complaint or that part of the complaint was filed for improper purposes or made in bad faith;

General principles 

Mokhtari v. Hain-Celestial Canada and others, 2007 BCHRT 196. The Tribunal requires respondents seeking to have complaints dismissed on this basis to meet a high standard (para. 7).

Crosby v. Dairyland Fluid Division Ltd. and others, 2004 BCHRT 1. A respondent must do more than show the complainant has a negative attitude toward them, or present a different version of events and say that the complainant is lying or in error (para. 35).

Stopps v. Just Ladies Fitness (Metrotown) and D. (No. 2), 2005 BCHRT 359. A complainant may be found to have filed a complaint for improper motives or in bad faith where, for example, the complainant is motivated by a purpose not consistent with that of the Code, or the complaint was not prompted by an honest belief that a contravention of the Code has occurred, but by some ulterior, deceitful, vindictive, or improper motive.  The question of bad faith or improper motive must be judged by an objective standard. The respondent must provide sufficient information (para. 13).


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