Campaign extended! Our deadline has passed but you can still help.
Cover Aniz's unjustly imposed debt to government.
$5,283 raised
19% of $27.3k goal
37 contributors
2 Years running

I'm Chilwin Cheng, a lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  I'm raising funds to help my friend Aniz Alani.  Aniz saw an injustice.  The former Prime Minister of Canada intentionally refused to appoint senators to the Canadian Senate - as the Canadian Constitution requires him to do.  The former Prime Minister of Canada didn't agree with the law and when he couldn't change the law, he chose not to follow it.

Aniz didn't think that was right.  No one is above the law.  So, Aniz sued the Prime Minister of Canada.  The Federal Court of Canada, and subsequently the Federal Court of Appeal, ruled that Aniz's case could succeed when the government attempted to have the court summarily dismiss the case.

While this case proceeded, Canadians elected a new government.  The new government announced a new process by which senators would be appointed - though no one has been appointed yet.  In this context, the Federal Court of Canada held, after the main hearing of the case, decided that the case was "moot" - or, in other words, no longer had a relevance that warranted the court's intervention.

In the most surprising decision, the Federal Court of Canada awarded "costs" to the government.  That is, the court ordered Aniz to pay a portion of the government's legal fees and expenses.  In Canada, these kinds of orders are normal. However, the court has a principle that where a litigant advances a case in the public interest in good faith, then often the courts will relieve the litigant of the normal obligation to pay the government these legal costs.

Aniz bravely advanced a point of principle that was important to all Canadians, regardless of political stripe.  The Canadian Constitution clearly states:

When a Vacancy happens in the Senate by Resignation, Death, or otherwise, the Governor General shall by Summons to a fit and qualified Person fill the Vacancy

Aniz stood up for all of us.  He carried the case pro bono.  He ably represented himself and covered his own disbursements. Unfortunately, this award of costs unfairly strains his burden.

He should not stand alone.  We should stand with him.

Please donate to this fund that will help cover his potential costs obligation to the government.

These are the terms of this fund.

  1. All donations will be used to pay only a potential debt arising from the "cost award".  No part of the funds will be paid towards fees or disbursements.
  2. Aniz may continue, possibly with pro bono counsel help, to advance the case.  If he continues, Aniz will bear his own disbursement costs.
  3. Monies raised will be held by Fundrazr and then deposited into my lawyer's trust account, which I will hold in trust to satisfy the cost award, pay any excess to the CBA Court Interventions Fund, or both.
  4. Any monies raised greater than that required to pay the cost award will be donated to the Canadian Bar Association Court Interventions Fund.  A fund that helps fund important public interest litigation.
  5. Aniz may appeal some or all of the the Federal Court's decision.  If Aniz continues the appeal, this fund will provide the security Aniz requires to continue with this important fight.
  6. If he succeeds, the entire amount will be donated to the Court Interventions Fund.
  7. If he does not succeed and is ordered to pay costs, then the fund will pay out the total amount raised to a lawyer's trust account entrusted to satisfy that costs obligation.

If you would prefer to send money directly to the trust account, whether by physical cheque, wire transfer, or money order ([I'll take a drafts too :-)], then please call me at 604.639.2565 ext 1 or email me at  We will process the donation and we will post your donation online on our main campaign webpage.

Please help us, help him, champion you.  Please give.

Full Disclosure: Fundrazr takes 7.5% of the total.  We can't get around that. The fee includes the credit card and payment procesing fees, fund escrow services, accounting, and other services for which I don't have capacity to provide. Fundrazr is a local Vancouver company and that fee is consistent with the industry.  If you wish to not pay through Fundrazr, contact me directly as above and we can arrange for a direct payment into my lawyer's trust account.

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