Representation - Lawyers - Legal Disability. Haynes v. Canada (Attorney General)
In Haynes v. Canada (Attorney General) (Fed CA, 2023) the Federal Court of Appeal considered an appeal of a JR brought by an employee with autism, here of an ESDC staff investigation. Here, the court considers Rule R121 of the Federal Court Rules, which requires that "a party who is under a legal disability" must be representated by counsel "(u)nless the Court in special circumstances orders otherwise". This case highlights the distinction between 'legal disability' and 'human rights disability':
VI. The Failure of the Federal Court to Appoint a Solicitor to Act on his Behalf
 Another issue identified in Mr. Haynes’ memorandum of fact and law relates to the alleged failure of the Federal Court to appoint a solicitor to act on his behalf, as he submits was required by Rule 121 of the Federal Court Rules, SOR/98-106.
 Rule 121 provides that “[u]nless the Court in special circumstances orders otherwise, a party who is under a legal disability […] shall be represented by a solicitor”. As we explained to Mr. Haynes at the hearing, the reference to a party “under a legal disability” refers to someone who does not have the legal capacity to represent themselves. There is no suggestion that Mr. Haynes lacks the legal capacity to represent himself, and indeed, he provided the Court with fulsome and articulate submissions in support of his appeal. No error on the part of the Federal Court has thus been established in this regard.