Opinion: “Supreme Court of Canada Recognizes Limited Right to Access Government Documents” Paul Schabas and Ryder Gilliland

18 06 2010

The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized a limited constitutional right to access government documents. In Ontario (Public Safety and Security) v. Criminal Lawyers’ Association, (2010 SCC 23) released on June 17 after an extraordinary 18 months under reserve, the Court held that the scope of s. 2 (b) Charter (freedom of expression) includes a right to access government documents, but only where access is necessary to permit meaningful discussion. The Court did not elaborate on what would constitute “meaningful discussion”, and has left unanswered many other questions about when and how the constitutional right to access government information can be enforced. Read the rest of this entry »

Revisited: Strasbourg on Privacy and Reputation, Part 1: “A positive obligation”

18 06 2010

In this feature we revisit some older posts which are still of current interest.  In this three part series, first posted in March 2010,  Hugh Tomlinson QC looks at the development of the case law relating to Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights, the development of the right to reputation and its potential implications for domestic law.  The first part considers the effect of the “positive obligation” to protect Article 8 rights on disputes between private parties.


The approach of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) to Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention has undergone a revolution in recent years. Developments are continuing at an increasing pace and are likely to have profound effects on domestic media law.   In this series of posts I survey and explain the changes so far and consider likely future developments. Read the rest of this entry »