Articles on Defamation

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Jordan Peterson speaks to a crowd during a stop in Sherwood Park, Alta., in February 2018. Peterson is suing an Ontario university and three of its staff for defamation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Hey Jordan Peterson, suing just makes you look like a hypocrite

Jordan Peterson's lawsuit against Laurier is hardly the action of a free speech advocate. Here's how he resembles Cleon of ancient Greece.
The High Court found that Michael Trkulja could sue Google for defamation due to search results that potentially indicated that he had ties to Melbourne’s criminal underworld. Lukas Coch/AAP

Protecting Google from defamation is worth seriously considering

Google has lost a High Court appeal in defamation litigation brought by Michael Trkulja. It is time to consider that extending "safe harbour" to Google may be a good idea.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, seen here at the provincial legislature in January, is among politicians who have threatened to sue political foes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

A SLAPP in the face: Democracy suffers when politicians go to court

The trend of politicians suing other politicians is worrisome since it risks limiting free speech. But there's a solution at hand known as anti-SLAPP legislation.
Giving a reference is protected, in defamation law, by the common-law defence of qualified privilege. shutterstock

Can you sue someone for giving you a bad reference?

In many cases, a reference will contain negative things about its subject. This is part of a reference’s design: the referee should give a full and frank assessment.
Joe Hockey’s successful defamation case against Fairfax Media raises questions about the extent to which politicians should be able to sue in relation to publications about their public conduct. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Hockey v Fairfax should start the debate on defamation law reform

Hockey v Fairfax illustrates that recent legal and technological developments still pose challenges for defamation law, which has not been reformed to keep pace with these changes.
Picking a fight with a media company should not be a politician’s priority. AAP/Nikki Short

Hockey’s defamation win is dark news for democracy and free speech

The elephant in the room in the just-concluded defamation case between Joe Hockey and Fairfax Media was the actual story being attacked. Media organisations ought to be able to instigate the debate without fear of reprisals by litigious politicians.

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