Media lawyer's career dedicated to defending media freedom
TORONTO, July 10, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
(CJFE) is honouring renowned media lawyer Dan Henry with the Vox Libera
Award, for his life-long commitment to promoting and defending media
The Vox Libera Award is given to a Canadian who has made an important
and sustained contribution to free expression at home or abroad. Dan
Henry embodies the spirit of this award. His passion for media freedom
and the public's right to know has been demonstrated time and again
throughout his illustrious career.
The Award will be presented on December 5 at the 15th annual CJFE Gala:
A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting.
Henry has worked on many of the most significant cases in Canadian media law.
He was involved in almost every major legal battle to extend media
coverage of the courts. Before retiring this year after more than three
decades as legal counsel for the CBC, Henry helped scores of
journalists navigate the legal hurdles involved in bringing difficult
and challenging stories to air. He reviewed thousands of stories before
broadcast, and directed the defenses of journalists wishing to protect
the confidentiality of their sources and stories that were legally
Among the cases he worked on was Dagenais v. Canadian Broadcasting Corp., resulting in a landmark Supreme Court decision that overturned the
broadcast ban on the film The Boys of St. Vincent and is considered to be one of the most important rulings on free
expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"One of Henry's on-going campaigns has been to open Canada's court
system to the public. He has argued many times before courts and
tribunals for an end to rigid prohibitions against cameras in the
courts or even on the grounds of a courthouse. This work in itself
would have warranted his winning the Vox Libera," said Arnold Amber,
President of CJFE.
As award-winning author and CBC journalist Linden MacIntyre wrote, "He
worked on some of the most difficult stories the CBC has ever
broadcast—many of them legally perilous, many of them in the face of
predictable legal consequences. I've never seen him shrink from risk
where he believed that the journalism was responsible, fair, and true."
John Gordon Miller, a former Toronto Star senior editor and a former
Chair of the School of Journalism at Ryerson University, wrote on his
blog, "It's hard to think of another Canadian who has done more to peel
back the legal restraints to good journalism, or to get good journalism
on the air, than Henry."
Henry is a past President of the Canadian Media Lawyers Association and
past Chair of the Media and Communications Law Section of the Canadian
Previous Vox Libera Award winners include journalist Ron Haggart; The
Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto; Jim Poling, Managing Editor
of the Hamilton Spectator; Alan Borovoy, former General Counsel of the
Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and Marlys Edwardh, criminal
lawyer and civil rights activist.
CJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to
information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we
promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE
boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and
encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of
their own and others' free expression rights.
SOURCE Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
For further information:
or to speak with Dan Henry or CJFE, please contact:
416-515-9622 ext. 232