The Supreme Court of Canada has given legal recognition to the concept of journalists needing to keep their sources confidential, but only on a case by case basis; there is to be no sweeping ruling on the right to protect sources. Instead, journalists should be forced to reveal their sources only when there is no other alternative to get the information and when disclosure of sources’ identities is vital to the administration of justice, and that has to be balanced against other rights, such as that of the accused to know who his accuser is. So, back to Quebec Superior Court on the Adscam case; interesting to see how the law will be applied in this case. Not going to link to the Supreme’ ruling; unlike their landmark defamation ruling last December, this ruling is too dense and legalistic for me to follow.
Globe and Mail, October 23 2010