Not necessary to impose presumptive notice requirement where police sought production order in relation to media

Supreme court | Administrative Law | Prerogative remedies | Certiorari

Justice issued ex parte production order directing media company and reporter to produce certain documents and data pertaining to communications with or concerning accused, individual charged but not arrested yet for six terrorism offences and who was believed to have left Canada to join ISIS in Iraq or Syria. Reporter wrote and published three articles for media company about accused’s involvement with ISIS, which were based in large part on communications between reporter and accused through text messaging service. Media company and reporter’s (“applicants”) unsuccessfully challenged production order and successfully had most of material in sealed Information To Obtain unsealed. Applicants appealed. Appeal dismissed. There was reasonable basis for issuing production order, and de novo consideration of framework in Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. Lessard favoured issuance of production order. There was no basis for recognizing presumed chilling effect whenever state sought production order related to media. Where materials sought could reasonably be expected to have higher degree of probative value, case in favour of granting production order was strengthened. Notion that police should be denied production order unless they could demonstrate that order was necessary to secure conviction could not be sustained. It was not necessary to impose presumptive notice requirement in situations where police sought production order in relation to media. Applicants did not point to any information not before authorizing judge that could reasonably have affected decision to issue production order. Balancing of media’s right to privacy in gathering and disseminating news and of state’s interest in investigating and prosecuting crime favoured issuance of production order.

R. v. Vice Media Canada Inc. (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 19988, 2018 CarswellOnt 19989, 2018 SCC 53, 2018 CSC 53, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., Brown J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 3901, 2017 ONCA 231, Alexandra Hoy A.C.J.O., Doherty J.A., and B.W. Miller J.A. (Ont. C.A.).

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

OCA refuses to extend intrusion upon seclusion liability to hacked commercial database holders

Law Society of Ontario extends virtual verification until January 2024

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds summary judgment in seller's favour after buyer fails to close

Heather Johnston joins Law Foundation of Ontario's board of trustees

Ontario Court of Appeal rejects statute-barred negligent misrepresentation claim

Prisoner's personal injury action stemming from court van accident dismissed

Most Read Articles

Seven new judges join Ontario Court of Justice

LSO and federation push Metrolinx to find alternative to new subway station on Osgoode Hall property

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds summary dismissal of domestic assault claim

Right of first refusal not 'eviscerated' by discouraging rights holder: Ontario Court of Appeal