Véronique Roy publishes a case comment on a Quebec Superior Court decision on the freedom of expression of a journalist in an online opinion post
In a case comment published by Éditions Yvon Blais in La Référence, lawyer Véronique Roy summarizes and comments on the Superior Court’s decision in Gauthier v. Salehabadi wherein the plaintiffs sued a journalist for defamation after being compared to Bonnie and Clyde in an article published on the blog of Droit-inc.com. The case dealt with the inevitable conflict between freedom of expression and the right to one’s reputation.
As the expression of an opinion cannot easily be characterized as true or false, the success of a defamation suit based on the publication of an opinion containing a subjectively injurious comment will depend on the appropriateness of the opinion being expressed. In addition, a finding of fault will be predicated on whether there was maliciousness, bad faith or recklessness on the part of the writer. The Court reaffirmed that while new technologies and social media now provide an outlet for anyone wishing to publicly express an opinion, it remains essential that the balance between freedom of expression and the right to one’s reputation be respected.