Canadian Supreme Court Says Press Have No Right To Hide Sources

from the freedom-of-the-press dept

While we're still fighting for a federal press shield law in the US (various states have them, but it's not universal), the Supreme Court in Canada has ruled that a journalist could be compelled to give up his or her sources if the court thinks it's worthwhile. The court did say that it really does depend on the circumstances, but if a court decides that it's of greater public interest to reveal the source, then the court can require it. Of course, there could be some serious unintended consequences that come with such a ruling -- including making sources and whistleblowers less willing to come forward, knowing that the journalists they speak to may not be able to protect their anonymity. I don't know how the Canadian political setup works, but couldn't this issue be solved with Canada passing a shield law? Hell, they can talk to their counterparts down south who are working on the same thing...
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Filed Under: canada, press, shield law

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  1. icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), 11 May 2010 @ 6:13am


    That's true. Plus the concept of "public good/interest" in Canadian law is quite more powerful that what can seem at first glance. It gives the courts the near absolute power that the "eminent domain" concept in US law has but covers ALL facets of life, not just the roads and land.

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