Pub Bans and Sealing Orders


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R. v. Sert, 2024 ONSC 2952

Ozughan Sert pleaded guilty to first degree murder under ss. 235(1) and 231(2) and attempted murder under s. 239(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46. The Crown successfully applied to have his actions legally defined to be terrorism within the meaning of s.83.01 of the Criminal Code.

On 29 November 2023, Mr. Sert was sentenced as an adult offender and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment with a parole ineligibility period of 10 years was imposed. At his initial trial, a psychological assessment of Mr. Sert was done, under s. 34, of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (S.C. 2002, c. 1).

The Crown applied to have several exhibits sealed and subject to a permanent publication ban. This request was supported by counsel for Mr. Sert. However, the respondents comprising of the print and broadcast media opposed the application.

The Crown was seeking an order redacting the contents of the s. 34 report to protect the names of third parties who participated in its creation. The Crown argued that if this information was published it would lead to the risk of discouraging full participation in the court ordered assessment process necessary to produce accurate reports of this nature.

Both the Crown and defence asked that Mr. Sert’s “irrelevant personal medical information” be removed as there is no public interest in divulging that information. They argued that release of this material would intrude into the privacy and dignity of Mr. Sert and the third parties. Mr. Sert was also seeking the removal of any information relating to his parents.

Mr. Sert’s counsel provided a list of redactions to the s. 34 report which they argued should be subject to a permanent ban.

In applying the Dagenais/Mentuck/Sherman Estate test, the court dismissed the applications for a permanent publication ban and sealing order, with the following exceptions:

• The video recording of Mr. Sert’s murder of A.A.
• The C.V. of the expert T.E.; and
• The redaction of Mr. Sert’s personal information on his driving licence, SIN card, passport, school record and health card.