Case Law, Canada: Shtaif v Toronto Life, Ontario Court rejects single publication rule – Ryder Gilliland and Max Shapiro

12 07 2013

Court of AppealOn 17 June 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Shtaif v. Toronto Life Publishing Co. Ltd. rejected applying the “single publication rule” in Ontario and clarified the circumstances when defamation and negligence claims can be brought concurrently. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law Canada: Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v Whatcott, Supreme Court upholds hate speech provisions – Aileen McColgan

15 03 2013

Bill_WhatcottIn Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v Whatcott 2013 SCC 11 Canada’s Supreme Court considered the balance between equality rights and rights to freedom of expression and religion.  It upheld the central “hate speech” provisions in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, although struck down some of the code’s wording in a case prompted by flyers handed out by a religious anti-gay activist, Bill Whatcott. Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter enters the courts in Ontario – Adam Lazier

14 03 2013

Under a policy that came into force on February 1, journalist are now allowed to tweet and live-blog proceedings in the OntaTwitter-007rio Superior Court of Justice, the province’s court that hears civil and major criminal proceedings.  Although the policy has a number of limitations, it marks an important step forward for open courts in Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Joseph v Spiller, Are Nominal Damages Appropriate When the Court is Deceived? – Hugh Tomlinson QC

13 11 2012

The libel case of Joseph v Spiller has been remarkable in a number of ways.  It arose out of a publication on the defendants’ website for 6 weeks in April and May 2007 and, again on a limited basis in 2008.  The claim was issued in May 2008 and, after a trip to the Supreme Court, was eventually tried by Mr Justice Tugendhat on 15 to 18 October 2012.  Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Canada (Human Rights Commission) v Warman: Hate speech and the Canadian Human Rights Commission – Eloise le Santo

9 11 2012

The case of Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Warman, brought by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), was a judicial review of a decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal not to impose any penalty on Marc Lemire for breaching section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act 1985 (CHRA). Read the rest of this entry »

Canada, AB v Bragg Communications: What’s in a Name? Supreme Court allows libel plaintiff to proceed anonymously – Paul Schabas and Adam Lazier

28 09 2012

On 27 September 2012 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision A.B. v. Bragg Communications (2012 SCC 46) a case which deals with the balance between the open courts principle, privacy, and the rights of children.  The Court permitted a teenager to proceed anonymously in her application to find out the identity of her alleged cyberbullies.  The Court did, however, deny her application for a broader publication ban. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law Canada: Baglow v. Smith: libel and online debate, case must go to a trial

17 06 2012

A Canadian appeal court has decided that the important question as to the application of the law of defamation to a robust and free-wheeling exchange of political views in the internet blogging world was something which is best resolved after a full trial. In a judgment handed down on 14 June 2012 (2012 ONCA 407) the Court of Appeal in Ontario overturned the first instance decision in Baglow v Smith. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Canada: Pridgeon v University of Calgary, Freedom of Expression, University Discipline and Facebook – Aileen McColgan

12 06 2012

The use of social media by students to criticise their courses and teachers gives rise to difficult freedom of expression issues. The point has been considered by the courts in a number of jurisdictions, most recently in the Canadian case of Pridgen & Pridgen v University of Calgary ([2012] ABCA 139) which was recently decided by the Court of Appeal in Alberta. The Court held that the University infringed the freedom of expression rights of twin brothers who had been disciplined for criticising a professor on Facebook.

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Cyber Bullying, Defamation, and the Right to Remain Anonymous: AB v Bragg Communications before the Canadian Supreme Court – Kirsten Sjøvoll

31 05 2012

This case, argued before the Canadian Supreme Court on 10 May 2012, raises interesting issues in relation to the manner in which applications for anonymity are assessed in civil claims. The principle of open justice is constitutionally enshrined in Canada and anonymity orders are difficult to obtain. Should there nonetheless be a relaxation of this principle where a case involves a certain class of claimant, deemed vulnerable by virtue of their age? More particularly, is the protection of children a superior value which the courts must strive to preserve even at the expense of transparency? Read the rest of this entry »

The Supreme Court of Canada: internet defamation, choice of law and libel tourism – Antonin I Pribetic

28 04 2012

This post is the second of a two-part series of posts on the recent Canadian conflict of laws trilogy in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, 2012 SCC  17 (“Van Breda”); Éditions Écosociété Inc. v. Banro Corp., 2012 SCC 18 (“Banro”) and Breeden v. Black, 2012 SCC 19. (“Black”) for Internet defamation, choice of law/forum shopping and libel tourism.  In an earlier post (on the Trial Warrior Blog) I discussed the the Van Breda decision and its implications to Canadian conflict of laws generally.  Read the rest of this entry »


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