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The Law of Libel in Canada, 4th Edition

The Law of Libel in Canada (formerly titled Libel) guides you through libel law's thicket of rules, exceptions, shifting onuses and other legal considerations. Coverage includes cases decided since publication of the third edition in 2014, 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.
Publication Language: English
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ISBN/ISSN: 9780433494690

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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 (formerly titled Libel) guides you through libel law's thicket of rules, exceptions, shifting onuses and other legal considerations. Coverage includes cases decided since publication of the third edition in 2014, 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.

What's New in This Edition?
  • Comprehensive coverage of recent court decisions on the elements of a cause of action in libel, defences and legislative developments
  • Separate and expanded new chapters on Apologies and Retractions, Injunctions and Screening for SLAPP Litigation
  • Expanded discussion of the concept of the "reasonable reader" in courts' decisions as to what is defamatory, and other principles of interpretation
  • Expanded discussion whether statements of accusation or suspicion, including in press releases, may be defamatory
  • Expanded discussion of the liability of Internet search engine providers, social media users and website operators
  • Added commentary on pleading a case correctly in a libel action
  • Expanded commentary on the principles of pleading and proving justification at trial
  • Significantly revised discussion on Parliamentary Privilege and the statements made by members of the legislature that fall within the scope of protection
  • New commentary on absolute privilege and its application to expert witnesses and regulatory authorities
  • Expanded discussion of privilege applicable to municipal councillors and other persons making statement to public bodies
  • Added commentary on corporate liability for malice defeating qualified privilege
  • Revised discussion relevant to the availability of a defence of responsible communication, including the decision of the Privy Council in Pinard-Byrne v Linton
  • Added discussion on the scope of the public interest for the purpose of the defence of fair comment, referencing Supreme Court of Canada decision: Grant v Torstar Corp. Further discussion on the modern approach to pleading fair comment
  • Updated commentary on the distinction between statements of comment and statements of fact in the law of fair comment
  • Revised discussion on specifying the matter complained of in a libel notice and limitation periods
  • Updated commentary on factors given weight by courts in assessing damages for libel
Navigating the "New" Boundaries in Libel Law
  • 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?
PLUS Helpful Precedents
  • Letter before action
  • Libel notice
  • Statement of claim
  • Statement of defence
  • Reply
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

Featured authors

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Libel Law and Legal Values
Chapter 2 Libel and Freedom of Expression
Chapter 3 The Defamatory Statement
Chapter 4 Reference to the Plaintiff
Chapter 5 Publication
Chapter 6 Justification
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
Chapter 14 Damages
Chapter 15 Apologies and Retractions
Chapter 16 Injunctions