Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tweaking with S. 13

Jay Currie Has Some Ideas

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, Jay put this out for your edification.

He suggests to the law tweakers out there that, if they are inclined they make S. 13 operate like a real law in a real court, they could for cease and desist types of CRIMES (using that word loosely), have such procedural niceties as:
  • presumption of innocence
  • proof beyond a reasonable doubt
  • requirement of mens rea
  • the right against self-incrimination
  • full and timely disclosure of the case to be met and all evidence disclosed
  • a Preliminary Hearing at which the Commission would be required to make out a prima facie case
  • instant dismissal as of right where the Commission fails to follow required procedure in a timely manner
  • the provision, at Commission expense, of a lawyer to the Respondent
  • unlimited cross-examination of Commission witnesses as well as document discovery and interlocutories.
For those CRIMES calling for censure, they could maybe go for a few things like:
  • truth – where the material complained of was factually true
  • fair comment
  • responsible journalism: public interest – where the Respondent has taken reasonable measures to ascertain the truth about a matter which is of public interest
  • publication in the public interest – where the intent of the Respondent is to publish material which is of public interest
  • quotation – where a Respondent merely quotes the words of another without adopting them expressly as his own.
Good ideas, but as he says, better to repeal the darn thing, and put it out of its and our misery.

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