The right to be wrong: Supreme Court reserves judgment in libel case

The Supreme Court of Canada has reserved judgment on an appeal that could create a new libel defence of “responsible journalism.” Media lawyers argued Feb. 17 that journalists who pursue important news stories of public interest should be able to defeat a libel claim if they acted fairly and professionally, even if facts turn out to be wrong or unproven and someone’s reputation has been damaged. One judge noted this would grant the media “the right to be wrong.” The appeal, if successful, could wipe out a $125,000 libel award against the Ottawa Citizen and would bring our defamation laws in line with those in Britian and many Commonwealth countries
Read the Toronto Star, Canadian Press and The Globe and Mail reports on the hearing.