Release: OCLA Asks Attorneys General to Make Canadian Defamation Law Compliant with International Law

(OTTAWA, February 5, 2016) – The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) has asked the Attorneys General for Canada to make Canadian defamation law compliant with international law.

The OCLA’s letter is at the following URL and its text is reproduced below:

February 4, 2016

Attorneys General of Canada

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Suzanne Anton, Brad Cathers, Kathleen Ganley, Gord Mackintosh, Wade MacLauchlan, Madeleine Meilleur, Paul Okalik, Andrew Parsons, Serge Rousselle, Louis Sebert, Stéphanie Vallée, Diana Whalen, Gordon Wyant

Honourable Attorneys General:

Re: Canadian defamation law is noncompliant with international law

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) has determined that Canadian defamation law is noncompliant with international law. The OCLA’s report in this regard is attached, and is posted on our website at:

The noncompliant common law of defamation negatively affects many Canadians, by violating their freedom of expression and fair trial rights, immeasurably and negatively affects Canadian society at large, and is incompatible with Canada’s international human rights obligations.

The OCLA urges the Honourable Attorneys General to review the OCLA report and to develop defamation legislation that is compliant with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Canada has ratified.

Yours truly,

Joseph Hickey
Executive Director

About the Ontario Civil Liberties Association
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) is an organization formed to defend civil liberties at a time when fundamental freedoms are subjected to a real and palpable systemic erosion in all spheres of social life. OCLA opposes institutional policies and decisions that remove from the individual his or her personal liberty or exclude the individual from participation in the democratic functions of society.


Joseph Hickey
Executive Director
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA)

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