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Class 4 January 27th.docx

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Communication Studies
COMM 2501
Klaus Pohle

th Class 4 – January 27 – Legal limitations arising out of private rights Civil Defamation • Cases • Grant v. Torstar Corp. (2009) SCC 61 • New York Times Co. v. Sullivan – In the Supreme Court of the United States, (1964) 376 U.S. 254 • S. Casey Hill v. Church of Scientology – In the Surpeme Court of Canada • Hunter and Swift v. Fotheringham, Maclean-Hunter – In the Supreme Court of British Columbia, (1986) Unreported • Murphy v. LaMarsh – In the Supreme Court of British Columbia, (1970) 73 W.W.R. 114 • Terrance McCann and the Ottawa Sun et al rd – In the Ontario Court of Justice, General Division, (1993) 16 O.R. (3 ) 672 • Introduction Civil defamation • Libel • Slander Libel • Any publication in any permanent form (including the Internet) that lowers the reputation of a person in the eyes of the community Slander • Defamation for which there is no record • Introduction Strict Liability • No requirement on plaintiff to prove fault, negligence, or intent (mens rea) • Error or unintentional libel not a defence unless defendant can prove responsible communication on a matter of public interest; i.e. quoting a source; republishing material from another source • The Plaintiff’s case • In Quebec, plaintiff must prove fault, damages and relationship between fault and damage (see pp. 53-56 JLG) • U.S. libel law • Public Libel • The Plaintiff’s case • Publication • Identification • Defamation • Malice • The Plaintiff’s Case Legal Assumptions without proof • Plaintiff enjoys good reputation • No one has right to damage that reputation • The defamatory allegations are false • The plaintiff has suffered damage as a result • There is no assumption of malice • The Defendant’s Case Defences • Truth (Justification) • Consent • Fair Comment • Qualified Privilege • Responsible communication on a matter of public interest • Apologies/Retractions not a defence • The Plaintiff’s Case Publication • Libel must be in a permanent form • Must be seen by a
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