Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Young on the Canadian Defamation Action

Hilary Young, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Faculty of Law, has published The Canadian Defamation Action: An Empirical Study. Here is the abstract.

This article presents the results of a quantitative study of Canadian defamation law actions, focusing on reported decisions between 1973-1983 and between 2003-2013. It aims to contribute to debate about defamation law reform, to contribute to scholarly work in defamation law or in tort law and remedies more generally, and to inform lawyers who are involved in defamation litigation. Its findings include: that damages have more than doubled, when adjusted for inflation, between these two periods; that corporate defamation claims make up about a third of the total in Canada; that plaintiffs established liability much more often in 1973-83 than in 2003-2013; that punitive damages are awarded much more often to corporations than to human plaintiffs and in higher amounts; that punitive damages are awarded in about a quarter of cases between 2003-13; and that publications in new media (internet and email) result in liability more often than publications in other media.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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