This paper demonstrates that the certification of class action suits serves as a tool to compel government action to rectify wrongdoings against persons in prison in Canada. This assertion is explored by viewing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a platform for persons in prison to assert their rights through class proceedings. This is analyzed through an assessment of Canada’s current class action cases that seek to advance the rights of persons in prison (which continuously fulfill certification requirements), and through the judiciary’s demonstrated record of embracing these claims. I further prove that class actions in this area are a legal tool that can require governments to reform oppressive practices towards this often forgotten demographic. As a result, class actions are an integral instrument for transforming Canada’s legal landscape, igniting progressive social change, and advancing the human rights of persons in prison.
The Role of Certification in Charter Class Actions to Assert the Rights of Persons in Prison