Women's Legal Education and Action Fund

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Women's Legal Education and Action Fund
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund logo.png
Abbreviation LEAF
Formation 1985
Type Women's legal organization in Canada
Legal status
Purpose advocate and public voice, educator and network
Headquarters Canada
Region served
Official language
English, French
Website leaf.ca

Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, referred to by the acronym LEAF, is "the only national organization in Canada that exists to ensure the equality rights of women and girls under the law.".[1] Established on April 19, 1985, LEAF was formed in response to the enactment of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to ensure that there was fair and unbiased interpretation of women’s Charter rights by the courts. LEAF performs legal research and intervenes in appellate and Supreme Court of Canada cases on women's issues . LEAF has been an intervener in many significant decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, particularly cases involving section 15 Charter challenges. In addition to its legal work, LEAF also organizes speaking engagements and projects that allow lawyers interested in women’s rights to educate one another, to educate the public, and to create collective responses to legal issues related to women’s equality


To ensure the rights of women and girls in Canada, as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are upheld in courts, human rights commissions and government agencies; and to take actions to reveal how factors such as race, class, Aboriginal status, sexual orientation, ability, and religion compound discrimination against women.


Some of the cases the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund have intervened in proved to be controversial. These include the case of Nicole Patricia Ryan, also known as Nicole Doucet Ryan, who was arrested after attempting to hire an undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer as a hit man to kill her husband. The defense claimed she was under duress do to an abusive relationship in which the RCMP had ignored her requests for help. Neither the RCMP nor the husband was called to testify against her accusations, however both refuted her claims.[2][3]

Notable interventions[edit]


External links[edit]