Publication ban upheld; likely to go to Supreme Court

A publication ban on information at a preliminary hearing in a Toronto case was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal, which nevertheless made one important distinction in future publication bans — the ban makes sense in a preliminar inquiry that may go to a jury trial, so as not to bias a potential jury, but automatic publication bans are not justified if a case is going to be tried by a judge alone. Balancing the right of a free press/media versus the right of a citizen to a fair trial has always been a thorny issue; at least this ruling provides a bit of clarity (it is up to the accused to choose whether they want a jury trial or trial by judge alone.)

Associated Press, Jan. 26 2009

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