WeirFoulds Partner Peter Jacobsen provides comment on Quebec’s ‘phantom trial’

Peter Jacobsen, a Partner in WeirFoulds’ Media & Defamation Practice Group, was quoted in a press release issued by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) on June 13, 2023.

The update focuses on the recent revelation that Quebec held a secret trial involving a police informant, with the trial being given no docket number and the names of the Crown prospector, the defence counsel and the judge being withheld from the public record.

Commenting on how the secrecy involved with this trial violated the core principles of transparency and openness to the public that the court system depends upon, Peter said, “Secret trials are an anathema to the bedrock principle of the Canadian open court system and must not be tolerated. The open court principle was egregiously violated here, undermines public confidence in the integrity of the court system, creating suspicion and rendering public oversight of what happened behind closed doors impossible.”

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression is an organization dedicated to monitoring, defending and reporting on freedom of expression and access to information matters both in Canada and around the world. CJFE’s mission is focused on three main areas: advocating for free expression and access to information, providing access to funding programs that deliver emergency assistance to journalists in distress around the world, and providing invaluable resources such as reports and research programs.

A litigator with over 40 years of experience in the areas of media law, defamation law, administrative law and constitutional law, Peter Jacobsen provides regular pre-publication advice and litigation services to major media outlets including The Globe and Mail, CTV as well as many magazines/periodicals such as the Report on Business Magazine (ROB) and the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Outside of his legal practice, Peter currently serves as a member of CJFE’s Board of Directors.

To learn more about Peter Jacobsen, please visit his profile page.

To learn more about the Media & Defamation Practice Group, click here.

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