Canada takes chill off libel laws

The Canadian Supreme Court ruled on 23 December to strengthen the public interest defence in libel cases. The chief justice stated that the law as it stood did not “give adequate weight” to free expression. The court also moved to change the wording of the defence of “responsible journalism” to “responsible communication”, which potentially allows the law to cover new media such as blogs. The decision followed high profile libel cases involving two newspapers, the Star and the Ottawa Citizen.

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