OTTAWA, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is
pleased the Supreme Court has rejected a case that could have rewritten
libel laws and restricted free speech.
At issue are derogatory comments made in 1998 by a Montreal radio host
about Arab and Haitian taxi drivers. The Supreme Court found that
ordinary people wouldn't have believed the outrageous comments and that
individual members of the group could not prove personal injury. The
decision reinforces the court's unwillingness to allow group libel.
"This case might have set a huge precedent that would have damaged free
speech in Canada," said CAJ President Mary Agnes Welch.
"Generalizations about a group might be offensive or racist, but they
shouldn't be used to dramatically expand the scope of libel laws."
The CAJ, along with several other media organisations, intervened in the
The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for
journalists from all media, representing about 800 members across the
country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality
professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.
SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists
For further information:
Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ president (204) 697-7590, cell (204) 470-8862