Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I am an Observer of the Legal Scene - Who Knew?

It's like this, see? I was, like, reading Amy Knight's How the Cold War Began: The Gouzenko Affair and the Hunt for Soviet Spies, y'know. And all of a sudden, the wording seemed sort of familiar, y'know? So I, like, looked in the endnotes and found this on page 335:

As one observer of the Canadian legal scene expressed it: "Stringent libel laws may have made sense five hundred years ago, when British royalty wanted to stop the nobility from duelling by giving them a legal remedy against character slurs. But we don't live in the time of Henry VII any longer." Jeffrey Shallit, "It's Time to Reform Canadian Libel Law,"

Gosh. Me, an "observer of the Canadian legal scene". Who'd a thunk it?

Seriously, though, if you want to read a professional's opinion of Canadian libel law, read Kimberley Noble's Bound and Gagged: Libel Chill and the Right to Publish, not my little opinion piece from our local paper, the Record. Noble persuasively makes the case that the reason there is so little investigative reporting in Canada is Canada's restrictive libel law. For another example that makes Noble's case, see here.

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