October 5, 2011
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.