Libel Law Reform in Canada

Below is a recent interview with attorney Julian Falconer on the Agenda in which recent developments in Canadian libel law are discussed. It seems that journalists are making some progress in the protection which they are afforded in their work, but Falconer notes that some barriers are still present.  I’m particularly interested in the notion of journalists and individuals in general having to prove that they are working in the public interests and took a large series of precautions in their work. This seems a bit burdensome but I think can also cement a position for journalists and writers within the public sphere which in turn allows them to maintain a defence against libel charges. The court also extended this protection to bloggers if they can be said to be communicating in the public interest. Well worth checking out. I’d like to write more extensively on this in the future but am working on a few other items right now so we’ll have to see.

The full decision Grant v. Torstar can be read here.

Jerry Dvorkin of Ryerson also details some of the obstacles that still remain for investigative journalists and writers in general even after the decision. Dvorkin’s assertion that journalists are often without the resources to prove themselves to be acting in the public interest is well worth considering.

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