SCC Allows Interveners for Key Freedom of Expression Case

Jonathan Maryniuk
October 11, 2008

In Minister of Public Safety and Security (Formerly the Solicitor General), et al. v. Criminal Lawyers Association,[1]the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently allowed various interveners time to reply in this important case dealing with limits on the right to freedom of expression. The issue at stake is whether or not there is a right to freely obtain certain types of information from the government. It became an issue when a judge presiding over a new trial for several men convicted of first degree murder found that police were negligent in not disclosing and maintaining pertinent evidence. An internal Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigation found no evidence to support the judge’s claim. Subsequent to the OPP investigation, the Criminal Lawyers Association (CLA) applied to obtain records relating to the investigation under provincial privacy legislation.[2] Numerous tribunals denied the CLA requests.[3] The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed with the CLA, saying it violated the right to freedom of expression under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[4] A Supreme Court hearing of the appeal is expected on December 11, 2008.[5]


[1] Leave granted November 29, 2007, on S.C.C. No. 32172.
[5] Supreme Court of Canada, Docket No. 32172.
Subscription Form


Protection of Privacy – Personal information provided is collected in accordance with Section 33(c) of the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIP Act) and will be protected under Part 2 of that Act. It will be used for the purpose of managing CCS’ email subscription lists. Should you require further information about collection, use and disclosure of personal information, or to unsubscribe, please contact: Administrator, Centre for Constitutional Studies, 448D Law Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, T6G 2H5, Tel: 780-492-5681, Email: You may unsubscribe from our email lists at any time.
Centre for Constitutional Studies
448D Law Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H5
chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram