25 Jan

Ban on Williams’ divorce file overturned

<p>The Ontario Court of Appeal has struck down a sweeping ban on publishing details of the divorce proceedings of convicted murderer Col. Russell Williams, confirming that “emotional distress and embarrassment” are insufficient grounds for supressing information about court cases. The Jan. 24 ruling upholds the open-courts principle and found that Williams’ estranged wife failed to present evidence to justify sealing the divorce file. “Purely personal interests cannot justify non-publication or sealing orders,” Justice David Doherty said in the ruling.

30 Oct

Piercing youth court ‘shroud’ of secrecy

<p>A <em>Toronto</em> Star investigation into the city’s busy youth court met with resistance from judges and prosecutors, arbitrary publication bans and attempts to block access to the basic records the media needs to cover the justice system. In the words of reporter David Bruser, the paper had to fight to lift the “institutional shroud covering the often-disturbing details of youth crimes from public view.”Read the Star’s Oct.

14 Oct

Rulings reject guilty plea ban, sealing order

<p>An Ontario judge has found no grounds for preventing the media from reporting that one of three people accused of murder has pleaded guilty, even though the co-accused will stand trial soon. And another judge of the province’s Superior Court has refused to seal documents filed in a civil case despite a claim they reveal trade secrets.</p>

9 Dec

Tori Stafford publication ban partially lifted

An all-encompassing publication ban on the Tori Stafford murder case has been partially lifted to allow media outlets to report on a guilty plea by one of the accused. Terri-Lynne […]

20 Sep

Blanket ban on Stafford case attacked as ‘absurd’

Canada’s leading newspapers and media law experts have condemned a sweeping publication ban imposed April 30 on a hearing in the Tori Stafford murder case. Justice Dougald McDermid of Ontario’s […]

11 Jun

Bail hearing ban upheld in criminal cases

News A sweeping publication ban will continue to be imposed on bail hearings, even when suspects won’t face a jury trial. The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld a Criminal Code […]

11 Jun

Bail ban ruling muzzles media, publics right to know

CommentaryThe Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to uphold a sweeping ban on bail hearings is a loss for the public as well as for journalists, J-Source Law Editor Dean Jobb […]

19 Jan

Facebook tribute group runs afoul of publication ban

A Facebook page started in early January to host tribute to a murdered child flouted a publication ban. A day after the page was mentioned in a Toronto Star report, […]

17 Nov

News orgs appeal decision on publication bans for bail hearings

A group of news organizations including the Toronto Star, CBC, Associated Press and CTV have asked the Supreme Court of Canada to strike down a law that makes publication bans […]

6 Sep

The media march off to court

ByDean Jobb Originally published in the Winnipeg Free Press, September 1, 2009 A publication ban squelches media coverage of a terrorist plot and a sensational murder. Two newspapers must pay […]