BCCLA successfully applies to vary publication ban in criminal case that raises alleged concerns about police tactics

Posted on

Vancouver – The BCCLA appeared in B.C. Supreme Court today to challenge a publication ban order in a case involving a Surrey couple, John Stuart Nuttall and Amanda Korody, who are accused of plotting to bomb the Victoria legislature last year on Canada Day.

Today, the BCCLA successfully varied the broadly worded publication ban, arguing that the ban must minimally impair the right of the public to have access and information about the courts. Earlier this week, the Court reminded members of the public and media about the existing ban on reporting any materials disclosed in the hearings, including details of the Crown and defence’s arguments and evidence.

Grace Pastine, Litigation Director for the BCCLA, stated: “We strongly believe that the public has a right to know about the special vulnerabilities of these individuals, and the possible police methods and actions used in this case in the lead-up to their arrest. We are pleased that the B.C. Supreme Court relaxed the publication ban today. Now it is possible for the media to report that the defence is seeking to bring an application for alleged abuse of process by the authorities.”

David Crerar, lawyer for the BCCLA, stated: “The media are the eyes and ears of the public. The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly stated that any publication ban must only limit public access to the courts to the extent necessary to protect the fair trial rights of the accused and other valid concerns. Instead of a blanket ban prohibiting any media reports on any materials referred to in these pre-trial hearings, the media can now tell that public that the Court is hearing an application brought by the defence concerning the timing of the hearing of a defence application seeking a remedy for alleged abuse of process by the authorities. This October the BCCLA will bring a further application seeking to allow the public and media greater access to the evidence and information in this important case, and may bring an earlier application, as more information comes available.”

The BCCLA is represented by David Crerar of Borden Ladner Gervais.