Year: 2011


Crookes v. Newton, SCC
The Court is unanimous in its dismissal of the appeal. The majority describes hyperlinks as "references", fundamentally different from publication.


R. v. Kossyrine and Vorobiov
An Ontario Court refused to grant a publication ban on a co-accused's guilty plea in a first degree murder trial. The deciding upheld the importance of media's role in reporting court activity to the public and made some important observations about the relationship between the media and juries. "the accused are entitled to an impartial jury not an uninformed jury.".


R. v. Sipes 2011 BCSC 1329
The B.C. Supreme Court ruled that a publication ban application under s. 486.5 of the Criminal Code was not governed by the Dagenais/Mentuck test, although the test provided guidance in interpreting and analysing the s. 486.5 criteria. The Court granted a ban on publication of the identity of five inmate witnesses, four of whom were serving life sentences for murder. However, the Court denied a publication ban sought by a lawyer who had acted for some of the accused and was awaiting trial on a charge of participating in the activities of their alleged criminal organization. In this instance the Court found the Dagenais/Mentuck test to be the appropriate legal framework within which to analyse the application for a publication ban.


A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2011 NSCA 26
A young person started a defamation claim using initials and simultaneously applied for a publication ban. CMLA members including Nancy Rubin and Al Parish, acting on behalf of media clients successfully intervened and the Nova Scotia court firmly rejects the proposition that a defamation plaintiff (even a young person) can start an action anonymously.


Bou Malhab v. Diffusion Métromédia, 2011SCC9
The Supreme Court overturns a class action award by Quebec's Superior Court of damages to a non-profit organization representing all members of the class. The Court held that no reasonable person would have taken the impugned comments seriously or believed that they applied to all members of the class.