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...
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: canada, press, shield law


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Ben, 11 May 2010 @ 8:22am

    While I agree with the overall concept of the point Mike is making about press shields, I disagree with some of his sub-points severely. The one I hold most distaste with is the one about how we ask the Americans about how to write our laws.

    Hell, they can talk to their counterparts down south who are working on the same thing...

    There has been quite enough "talking to our counterparts down south" and not enough "listening to our citizens." We are a sovereign country and can make our own laws. Thank you very much. I think the bigger issue here is courts trying to make laws, an area which by definition is out of their jurisdiction. Just another "lets follow the americans" attempt.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

Introducing the new Techdirt Insider Chat, now hosted on Discord. If you are an Insider with a membership that includes the chat feature and have not yet been invited to join us on Discord, please reach out here.

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.