Digest: R v CTV, a Division of Bell Media Inc., 2018 SKQB 27

DateJanuary 23, 2018

Reported as: 2018 SKQB 27

Docket Number: QB17450 , CRIM 40/17 JCB

Court: Court of Queen's Bench

Date: 2018-01-23

Judges:

  • Popescul

Subjects:

  • Criminal Law � Trial Procedure � Filming

Digest: The applicants, five media networks, applied for permission to place television cameras in the court room during the murder trial of the accused. Filming would be limited to opening remarks of the trial judge, the Crown and the defence counsel, the closing submissions to the jury, the judge�s charge to the jury, the delivery of the jury�s verdict and the judge�s subsequent remarks. The application was supported by two affidavits and written submissions by the applicants. The Crown and the accused opposed the application and the family of the victim favoured it. No other entities or organizations were given formal notice of the application. An initial issue was whether the application was caught by either a mandatory or temporary publication ban. The parties agreed that a temporary publication ban should be put in place until the application was decided. The applicant asserted that a pre-trial motion did not attract the Criminal Code�s mandatory publication ban provisions and that a discretionary ban was not appropriate. Regarding its request for permission to televise the proceedings, the applicants argued that permitting cameras in the trial promoted the open courts, the administration of justice and protecting freedom of expression under s. 2(b) of the Charter. The Crown argued further investigation would be required to ensure fairness in the trial process and that the applicants did not have the right to film and broadcast proceedings under s. 2(b).
HELD: The application was dismissed. The court found on the preliminary issue that the application itself was subject to a mandatory publication ban under s. 648 and s. 645(5) of the Criminal Code based on the decision in Millard. Under s. 645(5) the publication restriction respecting information provided in the absence of the jury extends to motions and application that are now permitted to be heard in advance of the jury being selected, regardless of whether those applications are substantive or procedural in nature. In the alternative, the court would have ordered a temporary ban. Regarding the application, the court found due to the novelty and importance of it, it was not satisfied that there was sufficient time to consider it as the trial would commence in only two weeks
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