Glossary

abandoned

In Refugee Law

The Refugee Board can decide at a special hearing that a refugee claimant has “abandoned” their claim. This means that the claimant loses the right to make their claim. This could happen if a claimant does not follow all the rules about making a refugee claim. For example, if they do not file their Basis of Claim Form on time, do not show up for a hearing, or do not contact the Refugee Board when asked to do so.

abandoned refugee claim

In Immigration Law

The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board can decide, at a special hearing, that a refugee claimant has “abandoned” their claim. This means that the claimant loses the right to make their claim. This could happen if a claimant does not follow all the rules about making a refugee claim. For example, they don’t file their Basis of Claim Form on time, don’t show up for a hearing, or don’t reply when the RPD asks them to.

absolute discharge

In Criminal Law

An absolute discharge is a type of sentence. Absolute discharge means that the court found you guilty, but decided not to punish you in any other way. You don’t get a criminal record. Absolute discharges are automatically removed from the Canadian Police Information Center computer system 1 year after the court’s decision.

absolute jurisdiction offence

In Criminal Law

A trial for an absolute jurisdiction offence is always held in the Ontario Court of Justice. You do not have an election. Absolute jurisdiction offences are listed in section 553 of the Criminal Code. Some examples include:

  • theft of something valued $5000 or less
  • fraud under $5000
  • failure to comply with recognizance
  • failure to comply with probation order
access

In Child abuse and neglect, Domestic violence, Family Law

Access used to mean the time a parent spends with a child they usually don’t live with. For most family law cases, the term “access” has changed to parenting time. Now, all parents usually have parenting time. If you have a child protection case, the term access may still be used.

Parenting time or access can be on a strict schedule, such as every other weekend, or on a flexible schedule. In some cases, it might be supervised, which means someone else, like a Children’s Aid Society worker or relative, watches the visit.

A person who has parenting time or access usually also has the right to information about the child’s well-being, such as information about their health and education.

accommodate

In Employment and Work, Health and Disability, Housing Law, Human Rights, Income Assistance, Tribunals and Courts

Ontario’s Human Rights Code says that employers, landlords, and service providers must do what they can to remove barriers that cause people to be treated differently because of personal differences that are listed in the Human Rights Code.

The legal word for this is accommodation. Examples of personal differences include a person’s ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability.

This could mean doing things differently for you so that you are treated equally. For example, you might need a wheelchair ramp to get inside a building. Or you might not be able to wear the same uniform as other workers because of your religion.

But an employer or landlord might not have to do something if they can prove that it will cause them undue hardship.

accommodation

In COVID‑19 Education, Education

Accommodation means the help that a school or school board has to give a student who has more than the usual amount of difficulty learning or taking part in school. Ontario’s Human Rights Code says that school boards must do what they can to help students with conditions or differences that affect their ability to learn. In human rights law, these conditions or differences are called “disabilities”. But in schools, these differences or conditions are called “exceptionalities”.

There are 4 types of exceptionalities:

  1. Behavioural, such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  2. Communicational, such as autism, trouble hearing or speaking
  3. Intellectual, including moderate intellectual delays (MID), severe developmental disabilities (DD), and giftedness
  4. Physical, such as trouble seeing or moving around
accommodation

In Employment and Work, Health and Disability, Housing Law, Human Rights, Income Assistance, Tribunals and Courts

Ontario’s Human Rights Code says that employers, landlords, and service providers must do what they can to remove barriers that cause people to be treated differently because of personal differences that are listed in the Human Rights Code.

 The legal word for this is accommodation. Examples of personal include a person’s ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability. 

This could mean doing things differently for you so that you are treated equally. For example, you might need a wheelchair ramp to get inside a building. Or you might not be able to wear the same uniform as other workers because of your religion.

But an employer or landlord might not have to do something if they can prove that it will cause them undue hardship. 

acquittal

In Criminal Law

An acquittal means that the court found you not guilty.

actus reus

In Criminal Law

Actus reus is one of the two elements of a crime the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to prove your guilt. It refers to the guilty act.

There are two ways you can commit a guilty act. You can:

  • do something that is against the law, or
  • fail to do something required by the law
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