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Defamation Law and the Internet: Where Do We Go From Here? – May 2018

As part of the public consultations process, an international conference, Defamation Law and the Internet: Where Do We Go From Here? was organized by the LCO and conference co-chairs, Professors Jamie Cameron and Hilary Young.

Held on May 3, 2018, the conference brought together leading scholars and legal experts from a variety of disciplines and jurisdictions to address the collision between defamation law and the internet. The goal was to reconsider how law should address the problem of online reputational harm in a modern society shaped by the constitutional entrenchment of freedom of expression, a commitment to human rights, increasing concerns about privacy, the effects of social media, the impact of global internet intermediaries (such as Google and Facebook) and the proliferation of digital communications.

Twenty-one speakers and moderators from around the world engaged with about 150 attendees, live and by webcast. Simultaneously, a rich virtual discussion took place on Twitter. The conference was unique in giving participants an opportunity to participate directly in the law reform process.

The conference was supported by Osgoode Hall Law School, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Law Society of Ontario and the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.

The Conference Program can be found here.

Conference Speakers

  • Bram Abramson – Open Web Fellow, Mozilla Foundation
  • Christina Angelopoulos – Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL), University of Cambridge
  • Jane Bailey – Full Professor, Common Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa; The eQuality Project Co-Leader
  • Jamie Cameron – Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Giuseppina D’Agostino – Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Peter Downard – Practitioner, Faskens
  • Kathy English – Public Editor, The Toronto Star
  • Trevor Farrow – Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Sue Gratton – Research Lawyer, Law Commission of Ontario
  • Ethan Katsh – Director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Andrew Kenyon – Professor of Law and Director of the Centre of Media and Communications Law, University of Melbourne Law School
  • Emily Laidlaw – Associate Professor, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law
  • Julia Lefebvre – Practitioner, Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP
  • Daithi MacSithigh – Professor of Law and Innovation, Queen’s University Belfast
  • The Honourable Justice Wendy Matheson – Ontario Superior Court of Justice
  • Brian MacLeod Rogers – Barrister, Toronto; Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University School of Journalism
  • Paul Schabas – Practitioner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Andrew Scott – Associate Professor in Law, London School of Economics
  • Randall Stephenson – D.Phil. (Oxon) (Doctor of Laws)
  • Nye Thomas – Executive Director, Law Commission of Ontario
  • Darin Thompson – Legal Counsel, British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General
  • Hilary Young – Professor, University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law
  • Maanit Zemel – Partner, Zemel van Kampen LLP

Speakers bios can be found here.

Student Blogs

With the assistance of a SSHRC Connections Grant, the LCO funded two students from each of Ontario’s law schools to attend the conference. Several students took notes of the panel presentations and participated in the audience discussion. A few live-tweeted the event. And five students volunteered to contribute a blog about each panel. These blogs are reproduced with their permission. Thanks to all of the students for their participation and their insights.

IPilogue Blogs

In addition, IP Osgoode’s blog, the IPilogue, has published a series of blog posts discussing the LCO’s May 3, 2018 defamation conference. You can read the blogs here:

Download the archived stream of the conference here.

Special OHLJ Issue

The Conference inspired a Special Issue of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal in Fall 2018, guest-edited by Professor Jamie Cameron.