Dec 232009
 December 23, 2009  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Non-U.S., Online

Kirk Makin reports:

The Supreme Court of Canada transformed the country’s libel laws Tuesday with a pair of decisions that proponents say will expand the boundaries of free speech.

The court ruled that libel lawsuits will rarely succeed against journalists who act responsibly in reporting their stories when those stories are in the public interest.

It also updated the laws for the Internet age, extending the same defence to bloggers and other new-media practitioners.


The media were exultant about the rulings. “This is a historic turn for Canadian media, who have long suffered an undue burden of proof,” said Globe and Mail editor-in-chief John Stackhouse. “We should not take our responsibility any more lightly, but we should celebrate the fact that the heavier blinds of Canadian libel law have been pulled back. The acceptance of this new defence by the Supreme Court of Canada will greatly advance the cause of freedom of expression, transparency and responsible journalism in Canada.”

Read more in The Globe and Mail.

Related: Peter Grant v. Torstar (pdf)
Related: Quan v. Cusson (pdf)

Hat-tip, Slashdot.

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