moved for leave to introduce Bill C-270, an act to protect persons accused of a crime from undue public speculation and suspicion before guilt has been established.
Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this enactment is to protect persons accused of a crime and their families from the effect of media reports that cause public suspicion, speculation and outrage before guilt has been established. Early publication of criminal proceedings can cause irreversible harm that is not justified in the case of an accused who is later acquitted.
I would like to note that this enactment does not in any way impede the right of the public to attend any court proceedings. The resultant restriction on freedom of expression, which is in effect a requirement to delay publication, is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society in order to protect the principle of presumption of innocence.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)