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Protecting Freedom Of Expression In Public Debate

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Protecting Freedom Of Expression In Public Debate

McGuinty Government Seeks Advice On Legislation

Ministry of the Attorney General

A new advisory panel will suggest possible content for legislation that would help prevent lawsuits from being used to silence critics by imposing long and costly court processes on them.

These lawsuits are often called Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP).

The three-person panel will be chaired by Mayo Moran and also include Brian MacLeod Rogers and Peter Downard. It will provide advice on key issues, including:

  • A test for courts to quickly recognize a SLAPP suit
  • Appropriate remedies for SLAPP suits
  • Appropriate limits to the protection of anti-SLAPP legislation
  • Methods to prevent abuse of any future anti-SLAPP legislation.

The panel will consult with the public and provide advice to the Attorney General by September 30, 2010.

Quick Facts

  • Quebec passed anti-SLAPP legislation in June 2009.
  • Approximately half of the U.S. states have anti-SLAPP statutes.
  • On April 30, 2010, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada adopted a Uniform Abuse of Process Act.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“The people of Ontario should be able to have their voices heard without fear of abusive litigation. The courts and tribunals should not be used to intimidate or punish people who raise legitimate questions about initiatives that may affect the public interest.”

Chris Bentley

Attorney General

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