New legal defence: “responsible communication”

Few legal judgements make for inspiring reading — but the new libel defence outlined in the Supreme Court of Canada ruling Grant v. Torstar Corp., 2009 SCC 61 is one of them.

The Dec. 22 decision lays out the criteria under which journalists can use the defence of “responsible communication” against libel suits. It’s a must-read for every practicing or aspiring journalist.

Some initial reports about the case and the ruling: The Toronto Star: “Supreme Court backs press in major libel ruling;” CBC: “New libel defence permitted;” The Globe and Mail: “Supreme Court hands victory to media.”