The Supreme Court of Canada will hear three appeals this week, all relating to constitutional law, the Canadian charter, and two with production of evidence. In the first, most high-profile case, Vice Media will make a case for press freedom in refusing to share information on a story source, who was an ISIS fighter. The second two appeals relate to child luring via the internet.
May 23 – Ontario – Vice Media Canada v. R.
Constitutional law: In 2014, journalist Ben Makuch wrote and Vice Media published three articles about Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighter Farah Shirdon. The articles were largely based on communications between Makuch and Shirdon through a text-messaging service. The RCMP obtained a production order directing Vice Media and Makuch to produce documents and data relating to their communications with Shirdon. The issuing judge also directed that all information relating to the application for production should be held under seal pending further court order. Vice and Makuch brought an application to quash or set aside the production order and an application to unseal the record relied on to obtain the order. The motion to quash was dismissed, and the sealing order was varied. Vice and Makuch appealed, but the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal as it relates to the production order and varied in part the sealing/redaction order. With respect to the non-publication order, and subject to the parties agreeing on a variation of that order, it also dismissed that appeal.