A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decided
that a section of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which bans Internet
hate messages, is unconstitutional because it violates free speech
Lawyer Richard Warman had brought a complaint
against Marc Lemire, whom he accused of posting anti-Semitic and
anti-gay material on the Internet.
Tribunal member Athanasios
Hadjis ruled that Lemire contravened section 13 of the Canadian Human
Rights Act in one instance — but also found that two sections of the
Act are inconsistent with Charter guarantees of freedom of thought,
belief, opinion and expression. “The restriction imposed by these
provisions is not a reasonable limit within the meaning of s. 1 of the
Charter,” wrote Hadjis, adding he “will simply refuse to apply these
provisions for the purposes of the complaint against Mr. Lemire and I
will not issue any remedial order against him.”
“If the example is followed by other tribunal members, it could mean an end to section 13 cases,” reported the Canadian Press, but noted that only a court can “throw out” the law.