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Archive For Entries On Freedom of Expression

R v Elliott: An Unhinged Use of Hashtags

In R v Elliott, 2016 ONCJ 35 [Elliott], Gregory Elliott was found not guilty of criminally harassing two women by repeatedly communicating with them via Twitter through various hashtags they had created. In my view, Mr. Elliott fulfills the definition of a “Twitter troll” and I find his opinions personally offensive. But is the fact […]

A Logical Flaw in the Supreme Court of Canada’s Analysis of Positive Entitlements to Expressive Freedom

I In Baier v Alberta, 2007 SCC 31 [Baier], Justice Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada articulated a test for whether an underinclusive statutory platform of expression infringes section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and thus whether a claimant has a positive entitlement to access that platform. He adopted the test from […]

Appeal Watch: The Pussy Riot Verdict, Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Laws and the SCC Will Hear About Interest Rates

Russia’s Ruling on Pussy Riot: A Verdict Against Freedom of (Artistic) Expression? On Friday, August 17, 2012, Torontonians gathered outside of the Russian consulate in protest against that nation’s treatment of three members of a feminist punk-rock collective known as Pussy Riot. The band members were on trial in faraway Moscow on charges of hooliganism, […]

A Valiant Attempt to Fight the Court’s Contempt: R v Gibbons

Linda Gibbons is no stranger to the law, and to the fact that it can be a harsh teacher, given that she has spent a fair amount of time in prison for her anti-abortion picketing activities.  Labeled by the media as “peaceful but relentless,” Gibbons has served a total of nearly nine years behind bars, […]

Post, Like, and Share Away: Pridgen v University of Calgary

University students across the country held their breath this week when the Alberta Court of Appeal released its decision in Pridgen v University of Calgary, 2012 ABCA 139 [Pridgen].  While on its face, the case decides whether universities are subject to Charter scrutiny, and whether the University’s discretion to impose disciplinary sanctions on theses students was […]

Delineating the Charter’s Scope in Pridgen v University of Calgary

Section 32 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms limits the Charter’s application to the activities of the Federal government and Parliament, and the government’s of each province. While the purpose of this provision is to clearly limit the scope of the Charter’s application, as in many areas of law, what initially appears to […]

Freedom of Expression, the ‘Occupy’ Movement, and the Dismantling of Tents: A Case Comment on Batty v City of Toronto

A unique feature of the Global Occupy Movement which dominated headlines during the fall months was its ability to harness new forms of online social media to raise awareness, voice political critiques, and to provide some unity to an otherwise disjointed protest. It is perhaps by virtue of this virtual existence that the movement gained […]

Golan v. Holder: Should the US be Singing a New Copyright Tune?

One night, you could listen to Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” with your friends, remix it with another tune and then pen a bestselling book titled Peter and the Wolf and Zombies. That would all change in 1994 with the signing of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, a trade agreement that restored the copyright […]

Crookes v Newton: Hyperlinking, Defamation Law, and Freedom of Expression on the Internet

On October 17, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada released its landmark decision in Crookes v Newton, [2011] 3 SCR 269 [Crookes], affirming 2009 BCCA 392 and 2008 BCSC 1424. At issue was whether creating an internet hyperlink to defamatory material constitutes “publication” of the material for the purposes of defamation law. The case challenged […]

Bou Malhab v. Diffusion Métromédia: SCC Finds “No Ordinary Person” Would Believe Reputation of “Nigger”-Speaking Arab and Haitian Taxi Drivers Was Damaged. Who is the ordinary person?

The past year has been quite the roller coaster for libel and defamation cases here at  Our Senior Contributing Editor, Tiffany Wong, covered two crucial UK cases here and here, as well as the titillating “Officer Bubbles” story here.  Just over a year ago, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) also released the landmark […]