The Law of Libel in Canada, 5th Edition
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A Clear, Comprehensive and Current Statement of the Law
Canadian libel law is designed to strike a balance between two essential values – protection from harmful publications on one side and protection of free expression on the other.
The Law of Libel in Canada, 5th Edition guides readers through libel law's thicket of rules, exceptions, shifting onuses and other legal considerations. Coverage includes cases decided since publication of the fourth edition in 2018, what constitutes defamation, the defences available, remedies, and how defamation ties into technological advancements and privacy laws. The book combines all commentary and analysis into a convenient, user-friendly volume.
Author Peter Downard shares insights gained from broad experience as both plaintiff and defence counsel in defamation cases, answering questions such as:
- How can you efficiently and effectively assess the merits of a libel claim or defence?
- What is responsible communication?
- When is a statement fair comment in law?
- What factors result in higher or lower damage awards?
- What special statutory rules do you need to know in a libel case?
The Law of Libel in Canada, 5th Edition also includes an appendix with helpful precedents, including letter before action, libel notice, statement of claim, statement of defence and reply.
What's New in This Edition
- Comprehensive analysis of the Ontario and British Columbia Protection of Public Participation Act (often referred to as “anti-SLAPP legislation”) and decided libel cases under those statutes
- Updated analysis and the latest authorities on defamatory meaning, including in social media contexts
- Updated discussion of legislative and judicial approaches to hate speech
- Analysis of the continuing evolution of the defence of ‘responsible communication’ in Canada and the United Kingdom
- The latest authorities on absolute privilege, qualified privilege and fair comment
- Coverage of new developments in related torts of ‘public disclosure of private facts’ and ‘false light’
Who Should Buy This Book?
- Tort lawyers who handle defamation cases and must stay apprised of all developments and decisions in this area, including new defences available to defamation claims
- Judges who need a clear, intelligible collection of recent precedents to streamline research
- Media and communication lawyers, including in-house counsel for newspapers, book and magazine publishers, and film and television producers, seeking a resource with easy-to-find analysis of libel issues in a wide spectrum of media
- Law libraries seeking the latest materials on libel law
Table of contents
PART I: LIBEL LAW AND LEGAL VALUES
Chapter 1: A Black Letter Overview
Chapter 2: Libel and Freedom of Expression
PART II: THE ELEMENTS OF THE CAUSE OF ACTION
Chapter 3: The Defamatory Statement
Chapter 4: Reference to the Plaintiff
Chapter 5: Publication
PART III: DEFENCES
Chapter 7: Absolute Privilege
Chapter 8: Reports Privileged by Statute
Chapter 9: Qualified Privilege at Common Law
Chapter 10: Responsible Communication
Chapter 11: Fair Comment
Chapter 12: Consent
Chapter 13: Notice Requirements and Limitation Periods
PART IV: REMEDIES
Chapter 14: Damages
Chapter 15: Apologies and Retractions
Chapter 16: Injunctions
Chapter 17: Screening for “SLAPP” Litigation
PART V: SLANDER AND OTHER TORTS
Chapter 18: Slander and Other Torts
Precedent 1: Letter Before Action
Precedent 2: Libel Notice (Optional)
Precedent 3: Statement of Claim
Precedent 4: Statement of Defence
Precedent 5: Reply
Table of Cases