Pub Bans and Sealing Orders


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La Presse inc v Quebec 2023 SCC 22

S and C were charged with several criminal offences in unrelated cases. In both cases, numerous matters were dealt with before the empanelment of the jury, including a Garofoli application, an application for a stay of proceedings for abuse of process, and a constitutional challenge. Several media outlets applied for orders or declarations that would allow the publication of information from the hearings on those matters.

The application judges in both cases dismissed the media applications, concluding that the automatic publication ban found in s. 648(1) of the Criminal Code that prohibits the publication of information about portions of a criminal trial at which the jury is not present applies not only after but also before the empanelment of the jury.

The automatic publication ban in s. 648(1) of the Criminal Code applies not only after the jury is empanelled but also before the jury is empanelled with respect to matters dealt with pursuant to s. 645(5) of the Criminal Code, which confers upon trial judges the jurisdiction to deal with certain matters before the empanelment of the jury.