Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Courts Continue to Support Freedom of Expression

Posted by auroracitizen on December 2, 2010

Recently the CBC reported expanded rights for journalists (and bloggers) have been supported by the courts.

The Supreme Court said it examined laws in other countries with similar legal systems, such as the United Kingdom and Australia. It found that Canadian law was strict by comparison and did not give enough weight to the value of free expression.

“This, in turn, may have a chilling effect on what is published,” said the text of one of the rulings. “Information that is reliable and in the public’s interest to know may never see the light of day.”

The Supreme Court specifically broadened the definition of “responsible communication” in order to include non-journalists, especially online bloogers, who are increasingly communicating matters of public interest.

Richard Dearden, lawyer for the Ottawa Citizen, said the ruling is a win for all types of journalists.

This is a defence that you as journalists never had before and also bloggers or anybody using Twitter — whatever.

Mary Agnes Welch, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, said “Today’s ruling helps journalists do their jobs — bringing to light information that’s in the public interest with a better shield against a libel suit levied to block a controversial story.”

Cal Johnstone, president of RTNDA Canada, which represents radio and television news directors, called the rulings an “important victory for freedom of the press.”

2 Responses to “Courts Continue to Support Freedom of Expression”

  1. October Came, Thanks were Given said

    Too bad PM doesn’t read this blog to find out this latest piece of news.

    Oh, by the way Phyllis if you do happen to read this, I don’t think it’s good news.

    For you.

  2. Publish and be damned said

    Possibly the Morris defamation suit should skip over all intermediate levels of the judiciary and go straight to the Supreme Court.

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