Section 13 confers a number of rights regarding privacy and reputation.
As with all of the human rights in the Charter, s. 13 is subject to reasonable limitations under s. 7.


  • Privacy issues arise in a broad range of contexts.
  • While it is difficult to define privacy with precision, it is often categorised in the following terms: bodily privacy, territorial privacy, communications privacy and information privacy. These categories will often overlap.
  • The right to privacy is generally regarded as imposing negative obligations on public authorities to refrain from interfering with privacy. The right has been interpreted broadly in international jurisprudence.
  • An unlawful interference is one that does not take place in accordance with law. When authorising any interference with privacy, the law should specify in detail the precise circumstances in which an interference may be permitted.
  • An arbitrary interference is one that is not in accordance with the provisions, aims and objectives of the Charter and is not reasonable. To ensure that an interference is not arbitrary, it must be more than lawful. The law should be drafted in accordance with the provisions, aims and objectives of the Charter and any interference with privacy should be reasonable in the particular circumstances.103

Family and home

  • The prohibition on an unlawful and arbitrary interference with family is related to the right
    to protection of the family in s. 17.
  • In international human rights law, ‘family’ has a broad meaning and includes a range of types of family.
  • The Charter also prohibits any unlawful or arbitrary interference with a person’s home.
  • In international law, ‘home’ means the place where a person resides and where a person works.
  • Any intervention by a public authority that may affect a person’s family and home should be carefully considered to ensure that it is lawful and it is not arbitrary.


  • ‘Correspondence’ refers to both written and verbal communications.
  • The confidentiality of correspondence should be protected in legislation, policy and programs by refraining from unlawfully or arbitrarily interfering with private correspondence.


  • The Charter protects a person from an unlawful attack on his or her reputation. An unlawful attack is a public attack that is intended to harm the reputation of the person and is based on untrue statements.