The Ontario Court of Appeal has struck down a sweeping ban on publishing details of the divorce proceedings of convicted murderer Col. Russell Williams, confirming that “emotional distress and embarrassment” are insufficient grounds for supressing information about court cases. The ban was lifted on Feb. 7.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has struck down a sweeping ban on publishing details of the divorce proceedings of convicted murderer Col. Russell Williams, confirming that “emotional distress and embarrassment” are insufficient grounds for supressing information about court cases. The Jan. 24 ruling upholds the open-courts principle and found that Williams’ estranged wife failed to present evidence to justify sealing the divorce file. “Purely personal interests cannot justify non-publication or sealing orders,” Justice David Doherty said in the ruling. The ban was lifted Feb. 7, after Williams' ex-spouse chose not to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Read the Ottawa Citizen report on the lifting of the ban.

Read The Lawyers WeeklyToronto Star and Ottawa Citizen reports on the ruling and the Globe and Mail editorial.

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