COURTS MISS CHANCE TO BE MORE OPEN: CAJ

OTTAWA, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is disappointed by a Supreme Court decision upholding limits on the way journalists cover the courts.

This morning, Canada's highest court upheld Quebec rules that bar the media from broadcasting audio recordings of court proceedings. The court also upheld rules limiting where reporters can interview witnesses and lawyers inside the courthouse. The court said these rules were a reasonable restriction to the freedom of expression rights in the Charter.

The CBC challenged those rules and the CAJ was part of a media coalition that intervened in the case.

"We recognize the need to protect the court's decorum and the fair administration of justice, but making courts as open and transparent as possible ultimately does just that," said CAJ President Mary Agnes Welch. "Instead of blanket rules, the Supreme Court could have advocated for more flexibility, such as publication bans tailored to a specific case."

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

En Français:

Elizabeth Thompson, national director, (613) 715-9017


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