The Great Debate UK

Are publication bans outdated in the Internet era?

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IMG01299-20100115-2004The debate over freedom of expression and the impact of social networking on democratic rights in the courts is in focus in Canada after a Facebook group became the centre of controversy when it may have violated a publication ban.

The group, which has more than 7,000 members, was set up to commemorate the murder of a 2-year-old boy in Oshawa, Ontario.

The breach of a publication ban could lead to a mistrial, a fine and even jail time. Violating a ban could taint the opinions of witnesses or jurors, and the news media must wait to report information protected under a publication ban until after the trial is over.

The ban on the case of the Oshawa toddler was lifted by the court, but it raised questions over whether court-ordered publication bans are feasible in the Internet era.

from The Great Debate:

Drugs, elephants and American prisons

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate--Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own--

Are the 305 million people living in the United States the most evil in the world? Is this the reason why the U.S., with 5 percent of the world's population, has 25 percent of the world's prisoners and an incarceration rate five times as high as the rest of the world?

Or is it a matter of a criminal justice system that has gone dramatically wrong, swamping the prison system with drug offenders?

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