The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference

Article Title

Vice, Universe, and Everything


R. v. Vice Media Canada Inc., is a notable decision despite the fact that the substantive issue, production orders in the journalistic source context, is now governed by a new statutory regime. Vice Media bristles with legal energy and it is for this reason the decision is worth exploring. As readers of the law, through Vice Media, we become witnesses to the edgy unpredictable side of criminal law as the vagaries of street-level life intersects with the rule of law. This jumble of real-time issues is constrained in Vice Media, through an application of principled and balanced ideals. Yet, the overarching principle is surprisingly fluid and supple. Deep within the Vice Media decision lies the embedded mantra of the Supreme Court of Canada that context is everything. It is this conceptual perspective, more than any other legal principle, which propels legal decision-making beyond the confines of the courtroom. It is at that very vanishing point, the point of the unseen and unknown, where the case really shines.