AuthorDavid A. Potts; Erin Stoik
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The chapters in this Part are provided as a form of explanatory background
for the rest of the text about anti-SLAPP proceedings. Each of these sections
is included for slightly dif‌ferent objectives for dif‌ferent readers.
First, however, some observations, which we trust will be received in the
same clinical, respectful spirit they are being made:
1. Anti-SLAPP proceedings primarily involve defamation actions.
2. There is no specialized defamation bar in Canada, unlike in the United
Kingdom or some states in Australia.
3. None of the major metropolitan centres, such as Toronto, Ottawa, or
Vancouver, have defamation or media law lists run by judges who were
defamation barristers in practice and who do primarily defamation work
as judges, such as exist in London and Sydney.
4. In Canada, any lawyer can conduct a defamation case. Any judge, sitting
in generalist courts, may be called upon to conduct defamation actions
regardless of their experience. However, while we have many lawyers
and judges expert in the law of defamation, the generalist nature of the
trial courts hearing defamation cases and uneven experience of lawyers
presenting defamation cases can produce uneven results. Our objective,
as specialists in the f‌ield, is to of‌fer some background assistance to law-
yers and judges who are not defamation specialists but are nevertheless
rolling up their sleeves to conduct or preside over anti-SLAPP motions.
We hope that these comments will be helpful.
The legislation in theory and practice is not restricted to defamation
actions. At the date of publication of this edition, all actions except for a
handful have been defamation actions, so this background information
relates to defamation proceedings in general and in particular to cyberlibel
proceedings. See “List of Cases: Proceedings in which Anti-SLAPP Motions

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