This paper analyzes the recognition of the journalist-source privilege in legal proceedings in Quebec, namely, in the context of the examination of witnesses aiming at identifying a journalist’s secret source. It first presents an overview of the state of the law in foreign jurisdictions and the n proceeds with the analysis of the development of a journalist-source privilege in Canada and Quebec, up to the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Globe and Mail v. Canada (Attorney General). The Supreme Court of Canada developed a clear analytical framework for recognizing journalist-source privilege on a case-by-case basis. Before ordering a journalist to answer questions likely to reveal the identity of a confidential source, the courts must perform the four-pronged analysis developed by the Supreme Court of Canada, inspired by the common law “Wigmore Doctrine”. The analysis of the Supreme Court confirmed the mixed nature of Quebec’s civil procedure and evidence law, and established an analytical framework to determine in which circumstances journalist-source privilege will be recognized, meanwhile reaffirming the essential role played by the media in the preservation of democracy.
Leblanc, Christian; Nadon, Marc-André; and Forgues-Bundock, Émilie.
"The Journalist-Source Privilege in Quebec Civil Law: Globe and Mail v. Canada (Attorney General)."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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