The Law of Contempt in Canada, Second Edition

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A concise, practical treatise on the Canadian law of contempt

"The tone, the precise language, and the direct formulations make reading this text not only worthwhile, but enjoyable - a rare experience in this field." The Honourable Justice André Rochon Quebec Court of Appeal This book is the first of its kind in Canada. Treatises on the law of contempt from British, Commonwealth and U.S. sources no longer need to be relied upon. The book is a concise, practical treatise on the Canadian law of contempt, from both common law and statutory sources. Of interest to both the practitioner and the academic, the book deals with the civil and criminal aspects of contempt. Beginning with a lively historical survey of the law of contempt, the book then offers chapters dealing with procedural, jurisdictional and constitutional issues. Next, the law relating to the disobedience of court process and procedures, as well as the law relating to court orders, is discussed. The author also deals with topical issues in media law, such as scandalizing the court and publication bans. In the wake of the Paul Bernardo and O.J. Simpson cases, questions around the issue of media rights and freedoms versus the protection of the judicial process are answered. Other practical features include an overview of available defences, a digest of penalties and sentences, and an annotated glossary of terms. Finally, the book includes a chapter on the important subject of appeals.

"...The book is engaging and thorough. It is also one of the few resources with a Canadian perspective published on this topic, and it is the most authoritative on the subject... Millers book was a pleasure to read and review. The Law of Contempt in Canada is a must-have for any library serving lawyers practicing in the area. The book is easy to read and provides the most entertaining and plain language discussion of contempt of law concepts. Librarians and novice and more practiced lawyers will appreciate this edition."

From a book review by Laura Lemmens, Acting Head, Library and Open Information Alberta Government Library, appearing in the 2017 Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit, Volume/Tome 42, No. 3.

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The Law of Contempt in Canada, Second Edition
Chapter Six: Disobedience of Court Process and Procedures

This chapter looks at what are largely contempts "in the face of the court" contempts not of court orders but of the administration of justice at its source: disruptive and abusive conduct by litigants or counsel (fighting or being inebriated in court, attacking the trier), failures to appear, contempts by and against court officers and witnesses (including journalists), and physically obstructing court administration. Interestingly, although the leading case regarding this last contempt involves a demonstration outside a court building, it is treated as "in the face" conduct. (In fact, the chief justice of the province witnessed the demonstration.) That said, another case considered here holds that threatening a witness in a courthouse elevator is a contempt ex facie not in the court's face.

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Practice Area:
Civil procedure


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