Winning the right to housing: Critical Reflections on a Holistic Approach to Public Interest Litigation

This report analyzes critical reflective practice for legal practitioners in order to bridge the gap between the theory and practice of public interest litigation. The litigation in question focused on the right to housing on behalf of people who are homeless or precariously housed. The report also positions the lack of affordable housing as a violation of the human right to housing.

This paper focused on different parts of Right to Housing litigation in Ontario, including:

  • the litigation focus of the Right to Housing campaign.
  • a review of the scholarship on reflective legal practice and movement lawyering.
  • provides an overview of the Right to Housing case
  • a reflective analysis in the form of a critical conversation addressing six core questions on ethics, accountability, strategy, movement lawyering and, especially, power.
  • In conclusion, the paper outlines the benefits of this litigation in promoting the idea that housing is a basic human right. This idea has now become part of Canadian public discourse, and informed the introduction of a federal national housing strategy.

    The paper also suggests that developing the habits of a critical reflective practice in movement lawyering is crucial.