Law Hour: Lisa Taylor Presents the Resurgence in Criminal Libel Prosecutions
Join Dalhousie Law Hour for the final Law Hour of 2022! They will be welcoming Professor Lisa Taylor, associate professor in the School of Journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University and visiting professor at the University of King’s College, on Thursday, November 24. While criminal libel prosecutions are widely seen as a relic of the past, research conducted by Taylor and her partner, Prof. David Pritchard of the University of Wisconsin, suggests that criminal libel is enjoying a resurgence, with more than 400 prosecutions launched since the beginning of the twenty-first century. While many of these cases were brought against people who disseminated sexual slurs against former romantic partners, in a substantial number of cases criminal libel law was used to punish citizens’ political speech, particularly speech critical of police or other justice system officials, a use inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
After a decade in journalism, Lisa Taylor attained both a JD (2001) and LLM (2010) from Dalhousie and practiced law with the Halifax firm of Merrick Jamieson Sterns Washington and Mahody before moving to Ontario where she accepted a faculty role at Toronto Metropolitan University. Taylor researches and writes about issues at the intersection of law, journalism and professional practice. She is co-editor of The Unfulfilled Promise of Press Freedom in Canada, an interdisciplinary collection of essays published by the University of Toronto Press in 2017. Taylor leads the Canadian Worlds of Journalism Study, an interdisciplinary group that, together with research teams from more than 100 countries, regularly assesses the global state of journalism. She is the past chair of the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Ethics Advisory Committee and serves as an advisor for the CBC’s ombudsman. Between 2013-15, Taylor received five teaching awards, four of which were awarded by students, while the fifth was the Dean’s Teaching Award for The Creative School at TMU, which she received in 2015.
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Faculty Interest, Student Interest