Litigation Ad-Hoc Committee

About the Committee


  • The committee will act to ensure procedural fairness and the open and democratic operation of our potential referendum on continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students.
  • The committee shall be empowered to retain and initiate litigation with legal counsel.
  • The committee will act with care and due diligence in all its decisions and deliberations.


  • One (1) Member from each of the four (4) Divisions of the School of Graduate Studies, appointed by General Council.
  • One (1) Member from the Executive Committee, appointed by the Executive Committee.
    •  The Executive member will represent the will of the Executive Committee.

Committee Members

  • Philip Baiden , Academics and Funding Commissioner, Divs 1&2 ( Executive Liaison
  • Gwyndaf Garbutt (Division 1 Member)
  • Vacant (Division 2 Member)
  • Andrew Fisher (Division 3 Member)
  • Alexandra Harris (Division 4 Member)



When: As Required.


On Wednesday December 3rd 2014, the UTGSU was served with a Notice of Application [pdf] from the Canadian Federation of Students concerning the recent referendum on continued membership. The UTGSU will be responding to the Application. For questions or concerns, the Litigation Committee can be contacted at

Recent CFS Referendum Outcome

As there have been several accounts online of what took place at the December 1st Annual General Meeting, we wish to state that the outcome of the recent CFS referendum is still a matter in dispute. As the result of a motion passed at the 1 December 2014 AGM, the LC is currently investigating what options the Union has going forward, and will report those options to the general council at the investigation’s conclusion. The LC will take no further action until directed to do so by the council.

To ensure members are kept up to date on all issues related to the Canadian Federation of Students defederation petition, please check this page, as well as the CFS Updates page, for any and all future updates.

The following motion was passed at the UTGSU AGM on December 1st, 2014:

Whereas a vote on continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students occurred from Nov 24-Nov 28;

Whereas over 66% – a super majority – voted against remaining members of the CFS;

Whereas this constitutes one of the largest mandates the GSU has ever had;

Whereas it remains unclear as to how quorum was calculated;

Whereas attempting to pronounce the vote non-quorate by fractions of half a percent was the same tactic they used to deny our petition;

Whereas an investigation would be carrying out due diligence and inform potential action that may be required to enforce the clear will of the membership;

BIRT the Litigation Committee be extended for one year.

BIFRT the GSU Litigation Committee be mandated to investigate the results of the vote, and to undertake – in consultation with General Council – whatever actions, including legal, are needed in order to ensure that the will of GSU members as reflected in this vote is executed by the GSU.

BIFRT the GSU Council and Litigation Committee execute this mandate as quickly as possible to ensure that material evidence to the vote is not destroyed.

BIFRT the resources required to fulfill this mandate be provided by the UTGSU General Council.



Meeting Attendance and Conduct

  • This Committee shall meet in closed session for all business.
  • Executive Committee members and a Secretary may be present as non-voting attendees.
  • Invitations to guests may be made by simple majority vote of the committee.
  • Members of the Committee and other attendees shall maintain confidentiality with regards to all matters of the committee.
    • Any Committee Member or Executive found to break confidentiality in bad faith may be removed from their position by General Council.


  • The Committee shall appoint a Secretary to take committee minutes and highlights.
    • The Committee may choose a Secretary that is not a member of the litigation committee.
    • The Secretary must be a member of the Union.
  • All Committee minutes shall be confidential and private documents to be viewed only by committee members, Executive Committee members, and appointed legal counsel.
  • The Committee shall draft reports to General Council.
    • These reports will be included in the Council Mailout.
  • All Committee reports to General Council and meeting Highlights will be public documents in the spirit of Policy O4 on Audits and Minutes.
  • The Executive Representative shall report to Executive Committee regarding all meetings of the Litigation Committee.
    • These reports may be given during in camera sessions of the Executive Committee.


  • The Litigation Committee shall make decisions in consultation with the Executive Committee, through its representative member, to ensure due diligence.
  • All decisions of the committee will be made by a simple majority.
  • The Executive Committee has the authority to stay a decision of the Litigation Committee until approved by General Council.
  • General Council has the authority to overturn decisions of the Litigation Committee.