To mark World News Day on September 28, 2022, the World News Day campaign is sharing stories that have had a significant social impact. This particular story, which was shared by the National Post (Canada), was published on June 20, 2022.
The National Post, with help and advice from other Postmedia newspapers, undertook the first study to quantify the fast-increasing use of publication bans in Canadian courts. It had never been studied by justice ministries, court administrations or legal academics, and the data assembled over several months of research was surprising.
Led by veteran reporter Adrian Humphreys, the Post’s study (of all known discretionary publication bans requested during the previous two years in courts across four key provinces) found a total of 577 such applications in 2020 and 2021, with a 25 per cent increase from one year to the next.
Media lawyers told the National Post that prosecutors and defence counsel are becoming increasingly brazen with their requests, which they called an attack on a hallmark of democracy and an intrusion on freedom of expression.
The goal is to use this data to advocate for the open courts principle outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada.
To read the full story on the National Post’s website, please click here.