Comment: The Constitutional Domestication of Our Courts - Openness and Publicity in Judicial Proceedings Under the Charter
The Media, the Courts and the Charter, P. Anisman, A. Linden, eds., Toronto: Carswell, 1986
17 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2012 Last revised: 29 Oct 2013
Date Written: 1986
This chapter discusses openness in the common law tradition and considers how the underlying values of this vital principle should apply to restrictions on access to proceedings and publication bans in the era of the Charter. It argues that closure of trial proceedings, entirely or in part, should rarely be upheld under the Charter. The Criminal Code provision dealing with closure is unnecessarily broad and can only be applied constitutionally in a narrow range of circumstances. Publication bans also offend the principles of openness and publicity. Mandatory bans should not be found constitutional in the absence of compelling circumstances. Prior restraints cannot be justified as a matter of routine, and the government should be required to articulate compelling reasons in every case. Likewise, where identities are shielded from disclosure, the government must be required to give compelling reasons why the public cannot know the names of participants in the criminal justice process.
Keywords: openness, charter, jamie cameron, common law, publication bans, criminal code
JEL Classification: K00, K40, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation