In this conversation, we explore the role of peaceful protests and democracies. Lawyer Sayeh Hassan draws from her 20 years of experience as a human rights advocate in her country of birth, Iran, and years of practice as a criminal defence lawyer and Charter advocate, to discuss the importance of the right to peaceful assembly in free and democratic societies, and how curtailing this right can have a devastating impact on freedom and democracy. Sayeh has spent the past two years defending Charter rights and civil liberties of Canadians and will highlight some of the cases where Covid-19 measures have impacted the right to peaceful assembly across Canada.
Sayeh Hassan graduated from law school at the University of Ottawa in 2006 and was called to the Bar in 2007. She articled with Walter Fox & Associates, a boutique criminal defence firm in Toronto, where she was hired on as an associate and continued her criminal defence career for over 13 years. For the past two years she has worked with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms to defend the Charter rights and freedoms of Canadians against quarantine hotels, vaccine passports and limitations to right to freedom of religion and peaceful assembly.
Sayeh has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. Sayeh is passionate about civil liberties and access to justice and has been published widely on criminal law issues impacting the socioeconomically disadvantaged and marginalized individuals in society. She is the author of the legal book, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Preparing and Presenting Bail Hearings”. Sayeh has testified before the Parliamentary Committee for Justice and Human Rights on Bill C-75 and most recently before the Subcommittee on International Human Rights about the rights and freedoms of women in Iran.