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COMM 2501 (12)

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Communication Studies
COMM 2501
Klaus Pohle

Class 8 criminal code provisions: - various prohibitions against publishing names of sexual assault victims; sexual history of sexual assault complainants etc. - problem with privacy law is that it’s a very “mixed bag” in Canada. - the case that is in question for this week within textbook applies only to Ontario court of appeal, binding on all lower courts in Ontario, but it is not binding on any other court in the country. May open the door on decisions in other courts in other provinces, and may use it as a precedent to establish tort law, or to give privacy the status of tort law. - these provisions protect privacy of those complainants, because it was deemed appropriate to do so because many, generally women, who were complainants or victims of sexual assault rarely came forward and pressed charges because it seemed to be an invasion of her privacy if the case went to court. - in the united states, within a sexual assault case, the defense would put the victim on the stand and show evidence of the victim being promiscuous in her private life, almost suggesting that it was her own fault that this assault happened, or would try to make it seem like that. So, a lot of women are afraid of taking sexual assault cases to court due to this. - government enacted a criminal code provision which precluded that kind of evidence from a trial unless the judge deemed it relevant. Same thing goes for publishing the names of sexual assault victim. He or she is a complainant until person who is charged is found guilt, victim implies guilt. So even if the person is found guilty, there is a stigma that attaches to being a sexual assault victim. people will have a certain view of women and men who have been subjected to a sexual assault However, law for privacy of not publishing name of victim in media is not automatic; there has to be a court order or judge to order the name of the complainant not to be made public, until that happens, you can publish a name of a victim, but that rarely happens. Media rarely publishes name of sexual assault victim. Can be sued for negligence if you publish the name, and there is a publication ban in place on a particular case The reporter should always know to ask if there was a publication ban, because 99 percent of the time there is within sexual assault cases There is precedent for the media not operating with due care and attention in some of these instances, you have to know what your doing when your covering trails and court cases. Youth Criminal Justice Act it has provisions too the youth criminal justice act has the prohibition which places a publication ban on the identity of a young offender in the name of privacy for rehabilitation of the young offender, which is the prime objective of this act. It is felt that rehabilitation cannot be accomplished in the full glare of publicity. The young offender is protected from media exposure in order to rehabilitate him or her. Various federal privacy laws, ex: access to information act for example, has a section that protects the privacy of the records or information that the government has on individuals. A third person is not entitled to get your records (if you work for access to information) from the government. If you want to get information from records, you can file an access to information request, but you may not actually get it, depends. CRTC Regulations – has enacted a bunch of regulations that pertain to the use of the telephone. This is important to media practioners, who talk to sources on the telephone for a story or information. Provincial Statutes- privacy acts in various provinces most provinces have a privacy act of one sort or another and allow different things first thing you should do as a media practioner, is to look at the privacy act Québec has a very strict regime , much stricter than other province except perhaps now by the decisions of the Ontario court of appeal which has imposed privacy as a tort in common law, it exists in common law even in the absence of a stature. Can be sued as an i
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