This morning a Supreme Court of Canada decision establishing a new defense in defamation cases was pointed out to me. While I am not a lawyer, and this is not a law blog, I realize the importance of the court’s decision.
In a nutshell; the court recognizes that in cases that are in the public interest and the publisher has attempted to verify the allegation, that is sufficient to avoid a charge of libel.
Interestingly, the judgment specifically mentions new ways of communicating (blogging and other online reporting) the speed at which information becomes available and the fact that news becomes available from other sources then journalists and the established press.
As Michael Geist said
“This is crucial decision for all publishers both big and small. It represents a major win for freedom of expression in Canada and should remove some of the libel chill that arises far too frequently.”
Citizen journalists and bloggers are now held to the same standard as their professional counterparts, but are also afforded the same securities under the law.