Media Lawyers Association were involved with the appeal with the intention of seeking out this defence.
The case being tried in this decision by the Court of Appeal involved The Ottawa Citizen and an Ontario Provincial Police officer. While Justice Sharpe bolstered legal defence for the media in future, The Ottawa Citizen lost their appeal due to the fact that they did not raise this specific defence in the lower court.
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An Ontario Court of Appeal ruling, made on November 13, is being labeled by a number of media outlets as a milestone for freedom of the press within Canada.
Specifically, the ruling from Judge Robert J. Sharpe noted that an individual's reputation should not take precedence over freedom of expression and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Where a media defendant can show that it acted in accordance with the standards of responsible journalism in publishing a story that the public was entitled to hear, it has a defence, even if it got some of its facts wrong," Sharpe wrote, with the assent of Justice Karen Weiler and Justice Robert Blair.
"I agree with the courts of England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States, and with the Canadian judges who have gradually expanded the defence of qualified privilege, that the inhibiting effect of traditional defamation law is incompatible with the climate of free and robust debate to which a democratic society aspires," Sharpe also Nike Football Boots India
As outlined in Sharpe's ruling, journalists who prove they researched a story, and verified their facts, will not have to fear legal action from those named in the article.
Dubbed the "public interest responsible journalism defence," the ruling makes changes to the basic protection offered to journalists writing stories that could be seen as libelous or defamatory to individuals.
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