The Influence of Canadian Charter Jurisprudence on Freedom of Expression in Defamation in New Zealand
In this paper, I examine the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on defamation law in New Zealand. The topic turned out to be a continuation of my previous work on how the common law could be, and is being, modified in ways which minimise potential chilling effects on freedom of expression. Here I discuss the recent extension of the defence of qualified privilege in both jurisdictions, in the New Zealand Lange cases, and in the very recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Torstar case. To my delight, it is also a story of how the common law, (with a little help from statute), is constantly reinvigorating and reinventing itself, not only within separate jurisdictions, but also between them – essentially a rich, robust process of fertilisation and cross-fertilisation of ideas, analysis and experience.