Pub Bans and Sealing Orders

R v Vader 2018 ABCA 389

The defence counsel had applied for a Rowbotham order for retroactive funding for defence counsel. He did so without notice to the media, despite the Crown advising the trial judge that notice ought to be given. The trial judge ordered a publication ban and sealing order over the entire court file without requiring the applicant to give notice to the media in accordance with the practice note.

The Crown appealed the Rowbotham order and CBC and CTV were granted intervener status to argue that notice ought to have been given in accordance with the practice note. The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in granting the publication ban, sealing order, and in allowing the proceeding to be heard in camera in the absence of notice to the media.

The Court of Appeal makes very helpful comments about the media’s entitlement to notice and the opportunity to participate in proceedings affecting its s. 2(b) rights, and the fact that it is the trial judge’s responsibility to ensure that process is carried out.