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Philippe Dufresne is the Director and Senior Counsel of the Canadian Human Rights Commission's Litigation Services Division.
In this capacity, he leads the team of lawyers responsible for the Commission's representation before courts and administrative tribunals across Canada in precedent-setting cases raising issues of human rights law and regularly appears before the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.
He has represented the Commission before the Supreme Court of Canada on a number of occasions, including in cases dealing with the duty to accommodate (Multani v. CSMB, CCD v. VIA, Honda v. Keays), parliamentary privilege (Vaid v. House of Commons), the independence of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (Bell Canada v. CHRC et al.) and the constitutional jurisdiction over Aboriginal Peoples. He has also appeared before Senate and House of Commons Committees on the issues of employment equity and hate propaganda. More recently, he played a key role in the drafting of the Commission’s Special Report to Parliament on Freedom of expression and hate propaganda on the internet.
In 2003-2004, he was a Legal officer responsible for international criminal tribunals with the United Nations, Human Rights and Humanitarian law division of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Dufresne is a member of the executive of the International Commission of Jurists (Canada) and the Canadian Bar Association. He is also a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa where he teaches human rights law in Canada.