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JOUR 2501 Lecture Notes - Mens Rea

Journalism and Communication
Course Code
JOUR 2501
Klaus Pohle

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British and Canadian libel very similar.
Legal limitations arising out of private rights : Civil defamation
Libel or Defamation
Long standing law, existing in ancient times in other forms, societal value of reputations of its
The law seeks to protect reputation. Egyptian law 42 laws and slander was included, Moses 10
commandments, Anglo-Saxon law ( guilty of slander= cut out your tongue).
Entitles individuals and corporations.
We can defend others, those we’ve written about, based on the five terms of defense. ??
The Plantiff can either you or your corporation would be sued, you as the author of the offensive
material or your corporation for having published it ( depending on medium (e.g. Blog, twitter vs.
paper, magazine).
Grant vs. Toronto Star (2009) SCC 61 :
NYT Co. vs. Sullivan
S. Casey Hill v. Church of Scientology
Hunter and Swift v. Fotheringham, Maclean- Hunter
Civil defamation
Libel (permanent) & Slander (rumors, spoken, defamation for which there is no record).
Libel = Any publication in any permanent form (including the internet) that lowers the reputation of a
person in the eyes of the community.
Plaintiff (victim) in a defamation case has to prove damages
Criminal (Defamatory) Libel- s. 298 reserved for libels that have a societal implications.
Ex. publishing about a person having worked in sex trade = libel but becomes criminal if you
publish their phone number (could result in harassment and thus forth).
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