In the high profile case between Marc Lemire and Richard Warman, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has refused to apply s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which stated that hate messages also affected,
…a matter that is communicated by means of a computer or a group of interconnected or related computers, including the Internet…
Tribunal chair Athanasios Hadjis said,
Since a formal declaration of invalidity [of Section 13(1)] is not a remedy available to the Tribunal, I will simply refuse to apply these provisions for the purposes of the complaint against Mr. Lemire and I will not issue any remedial order against him
The complete decision can be reviewed here:
Off the hook? Not necessarily – Mr. Warman will likely seek judicial review. And the civil actions previously discussed here for defamation, as well as much more rigorous Criminal Code provisions, will still attempt to regulate Internet activity.
This paper by Alexander Thesis, commissioned by the Attorney General of Canada, comes to a different conclusion – the provision is rationally connected with minimal impairment.
Here’s a scorecard of the outcome of judicial reviews of CHRT decisions:
|Judicial review withdrawn or struck for delay||1||0||1||0||2|
|Judicial review pending||0||1||1||7||8|
Commentary by various personalities, both for and against, available here.