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Reporting on the Justice System

By  •  Law

This section contains information, advice and commentary on legal issues that arise when covering court cases, trials and hearings.
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Beware of police officers asking questions

By  •  Law

Commentary
A legal precedent on the disclosure of evidence means what a journalist tells the police or other investigators could wind up as Exhibit A in court. A word to the wise – remember, anything you say or do could be used against you. By Dean Jobb.
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Prosecutors in the spotlight

By  •  Law

Feature
Crown attorneys’ media rules walk the line between informing the public and preserving the right to fair trial. So what can prosecutors tell journalists – and the public – about court cases? By Dean Jobb.
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Levelling with our sources

By  •  Law

Commentary
The contempt conviction of Hamilton Spectator reporter Ken Peters for refusing to name a source shows the wisdom of devising an exit strategy before making a promise of confidentiality. By Dean Jobb.
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N.S. judges demand media accreditation

By  •  Law

Feature
A committee of Nova Scotia judges and journalists has decided that court officials should decide which reporters and media organizations can use cameras and tape recorders at the Law Courts building in Halifax, the province’s busiest courthouse. As Ainslie MacLellan reports in the King’s JournalismReview, journalists haven’t protested but media lawyers warn the plan sets a bad precedent.
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Links to legal resources

By  •  News

A comprehensive list of links to various legal resources.

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Fighting publication bans

By  •  Law

Feature
Media outlets have the right – if not always the means – to oppose motions to withhold the details of criminal cases. By Dean Jobb

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Judge blocks bid to expose Citizen source

By  •  Law

News
An Ontario judge has struckdown laws that empowered the RCMP to raid the home of Ottawa Citizen reporter Juliet O’Neill, in a bid to expose the source of a leak about the Mahar Ararcase. Justice Lynn Ratushney ruled that sections of the Security and Information Act designed to crack down on leaks of information violate the Charter right to freedom of the press. The federal government will not appeal. The Canadian Association of Journalists calls the ruling“an historic victory for media freedom.”
>>Tony Burman, editor in chief of CBC News, comments.
>>Lawyer Wendy Wagner, who acted for the Ottawa Citizen, offers a summary of the ruling.
>>Read Justice Ratushney’s Oct. 19, 2006 ruling.
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Free expression … within limits

By  •  Law

Commentary
Controversy over Prophet Muhammad cartoons fuels debate over the limits of freedom of expression. Dean Jobb comments.
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Pressthink

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Jay Rosen, an associate professor and former chairperson of New York University’s Department of Journalism, has been posting to his blog, PressThink, since 2003.
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