CAN-TECH Newsletter/Bulletin
February 22, 2018/22 février 2018

Supreme Court of Canada Raises the Bar for Mandatory Interlocutory Injunctions

Seeking an order requiring a respondent to “do something” requires a strong prima facie case

At a time when litigants are increasingly seeking orders for the removal of content from the internet at an interlocutory stage in litigation, and while courts across the country are applying different tests for granting mandatory injunctions, the Supreme Court of Canada has settled on a definitive test for such court orders.

In R. v Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Supreme Court of Canada has raised the bar for obtaining mandatory interlocutory injunctions. The case arose from an attempt by the Crown to enforce a publication ban against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC had published content on its websites that named a homicide victim. After charges were laid against the accused, the Crown sought and obtained a publication ban on the victim’s identity. The CBC refused to unpublish its previous articles and the Crown sought charges of criminal contempt against CBC for violating the publication ban. The Crown also sought an injunction to require the CBC to remove the articles at issue.

The question before the Court was entirely about the burden on the Crown to obtain the injunction. Since the leading case of RJR-MacDonald v Canada (Attorney General), Canadian courts have ultimately divided on how that test should be applied. This test is derived from the UK case of American Cyanamid Co. v Ethicon Ltd, which the court summarized at paragraph 12:

At the first stage, the application judge is to undertake a preliminary investigation of the merits to decide whether the applicant demonstrates a “serious question to be tried”, in the sense that the application is neither frivolous nor vexatious. The applicant must then, at the second stage, convince the court that it will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is refused. Finally, the third stage of the test requires an assessment of the balance of convenience, in order to identify the party which would suffer greater harm from the granting or refusal of the interlocutory injunction, pending a decision on the merits. [footnotes omitted]

Since then, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Alberta courts have applied the test so that the applicant must show a strong prima facie case. Other courts have used a lower threshold, being whether the applicant has shown a “serious issue to be tried”.

The Supreme Court settled this discrepancy by holding that in order to obtain a mandatory injunction, the applicant must prove a strong prima facie case. This leads to two questions: first, what is a “mandatory injunction” compared to a “prohibitive injunction”. The second is what is the standard for a “prima facie case”.

The distinction between mandatory and prohibitive injunctions is important because it determines the test to be applied and there are many cases where the terminology used by an applicant can confuse matters. The court considered this and concluded that it will be up to the application judge to determine whether the respondent is being ordered to do something or to refrain from doing something:

… I acknowledge that distinguishing between mandatory and prohibitive injunctions can be difficult, since an interlocutory injunction which is framed in prohibitive language may “have the effect of forcing the enjoined party to take… positive actions”. For example, in this case, ceasing to transmit the victim’s identifying information would require an employee of CBC to take the necessary action to remove that information from its website. Ultimately, the application judge, in characterizing the interlocutory injunction as mandatory or prohibitive, will have to look past the form and the language in which the order sought is framed, in order to identify the substance of what is being sought and, in light of the particular circumstances of the matter, “what the practical consequences of the . . . injunction are likely to be”. In short, the application judge should examine whether, in substance, the overall effect of the injunction would be to require the defendant to do something, or to refrain from doing something. [footnotes omitted, emphasis in original]

The Court then considered the various formulations in the caselaw regarding a “strong prima facie case” and reached the following conclusion: “… upon a preliminary review of the case, the application judge must be satisfied that there is a strong likelihood on the law and the evidence presented that, at trial, the applicant will be ultimately successful in proving the allegations set out in the originating notice.”

The Court concluded with a summary of the newly modified RJR-MacDonald test:

(1) The applicant must demonstrate a strong prima facie case that it will succeed at trial. This entails showing a strong likelihood on the law and the evidence presented that, at trial, the applicant will be ultimately successful in proving the allegations set out in the originating notice;

(2) The applicant must demonstrate that irreparable harm will result if the relief is not granted; and

(3) The applicant must show that the balance of convenience favours granting the injunction.

(Whether this modified test will be referred to as the “CBC test” remains to be seen.)

The CBC argued that in cases where “pure speech” is at issue, the RJR-MacDonald test should be dispensed with entirely following Canada (Human Rights Commission) v Canadian Liberty Net, which held that the second and third factors in the tripartite test are derived from the commercial context and stack the cards against the defendant. The Court disagreed:

[20] In Liberty Net, the Court explained that the RJR—MacDonald tripartite test is not appropriately applied to cases of “pure” speech, comprising the expression of “the non-commercial speaker where there is no tangible, immediate utility arising from the expression other than the freedom of expression itself”. This appeal does not present such a case. The reason the Court gave in Liberty Net for not applying the RJR—Macdonald test to “pure” speech was that the defendant in such cases “has no tangible or measurable interest” [also described as a “tangible, immediate utility”] other than the expression itself”. Where discriminatory hate speech or other potentially low-value speech is at issue (as was the case in Liberty Net), the RJR—MacDonald test would “stac[k] the cards” against the defendant at the second and third stages. In this appeal, however, the chambers judge correctly identified a “tangible, immediate utility” to CBC’s posting of the identifying information, being the “public’s interest” in CBC’s right to express that information, and in freedom of the press. Because CBC does not therefore face the same disadvantage as defendants face at the second and third stages of the RJR—MacDonald test in cases of low- to no-value speech, it is unnecessary to apply the “clearest of cases” threshold, and I would not do so. [footnotes omitted]

On the merits of the underlying case, the Court limited its comments to nothing that that the Alberta Court of Appeal’s implicitly determined there was no “strong prima facie case” shown by the Crown. The Appeal Court had had determined the positions of both the Crown and the CBC were arguable, namely that it is an open question whether one can be in contempt of a publication ban for content that was published before the ban but continues to be present on the internet. This conclusion meant that the Crown had now shown a strong prima facie case of criminal contempt against the CBC.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court did not refer to the fact that prior to the hearing, the CBC was acquitted of criminal contempt before the Court of Queen’s Bench in a decision released on May 16, 2017. That Court held that retaining an article previously published in an archive accessible on the internet did not offend the publication ban. From that decision:

[41] Furthermore, neither the words “broadcasting” nor “transmitting” are necessarily a reference to the source of the material. The issue of how the material came to be in the hands of the broadcaster or transmitter is only relevant to the defence of justification. As such, the words “broadcasting” and “transmitting,” focus on doing something with what exists. In context, therefore, getting hold of the material or “accessing” it would not be broadcasting or transmitting. Something more must be done. Similarly, allowing access is not good enough to amount to broadcasting or transmitting.

[42] In the end, it is my view that the fact that CBC maintains the original articles in its archives, which can be accessed, does not amount to publication, transmission or broadcast.

Hearsay, Prior Consistent Statements, and Texting

Text messages not necessarily “spontaneous utterances”

Justice Nakatsuru of the Ontario Court of Justice ordered a new trial based on the incorrect admission of text messages for the truth of their contents in R v NW. The accused had been convicted of sexual assault based on allegations of groping and touching a seventeen-year-old girl who was staying in a bedroom at the accused’s home. The complainant testified that the accused, the father of her friend, had come into her bedroom at least six times between 11:00 pm and 2:00 am, making sexual comments and touching parts of her body. During this period of time the complainant sent series of texts to two friends saying that the accused kept coming into her room, trying to take off her pants, and so on: one friend urged her to call the police while the other did not see the texts until the next morning. The accused denied having entered the complainant’s room other than to obtain some clothes from a closet there and to ask if she was hungry. The accused’s wife and daughter testified that the accused was asleep in a bed, with them, through much of the relevant time, and a family friend who was also in the house testified to being with the complainant for a forty minute period from 1:00 am onward. The trial judge convicted the accused, in part because he had admitted the text messages for the truth of their contents, and concluded that they were corroborative and supportive of the complainant’s evidence.

The Summary Conviction Appeal Court conducted an analysis of the interplay between the rules concerning hearsay, prior consistent statements, and spontaneous utterances, concluding that the rules around the principled exception ought to apply. Specifically, the judge concluded that it was not appropriate simply to presume that the necessity requirement was always met in the case of a spontaneous utterance, through a mechanical application of that rule: rather, the facts of the individual case should be considered to decide whether there was any “plus-value” on the particular occasion. The potential plus-value might be of a circumstantial nature: that an utterance was made in the heat of the moment, for example. It might also arise because the declarant was no longer available, or no longer recalled the statement. However, there must be some basis to establish necessity. The judge held:

[45] In my opinion, the common law exception for spontaneous utterances should be modified to this extent: where the declarant testifies in court, the necessity of the hearsay should no longer be presumed. The party wishing its admission should bear the onus of proving necessity and reliability. In some instances, necessity may be easily shown. This requirement may be met if the declarant’s memory falters or a full account of the event cannot be obtained without the admission of the hearsay. Or the superiority of the out-court-statement may be obvious. However, unlike the traditional definition of a spontaneous utterance, necessity should not simply be presumed when the declarant is testifying.

Applying that approach to the case at hand, Justice Nakatsuru found that the necessity requirement had not been met for the text messages in this case. In some instances, the necessity to electronic communications might be obvious:

[51] … For 911 calls, the superior quality of the statements may be self-evident. First of all, such calls are recorded and the voice of the caller can be heard on the recording, which can then be played in court. This added value of the evidence can satisfy the necessity requirement.

That will not always be the case, though, particularly when dealing with text messages. Justice Nakatsuru held:

[52] It is true that text messages can be described as a form of digital conversation: see R. v. Marakah, 2017 SCC 59 (CanLII), 142 W.C.B. (2d) 490. However, text messages in general do not have this inherently superior quality for the following reasons:

  1. Text messages are simply written statements. They are often cryptic, casually composed, punctuated with short-forms, symbols, and errors. They are often open to misinterpretation by not only the trier of fact but indeed the recipient of the message.
  2. Emotion and tone are absent from text messages (hence the use of emoticons by some people in texts).
  3. Unlike a phone call or an in-person conversation, when one sends a text there is no assurance that the person will respond or even read the message in a timely fashion. This was the case here with respect to the texts to R.P., who only read them the next morning.
  4. Sending a text requires some conscious forethought. While I appreciate how texting is described as a digital conversation, unlike oral communications, texting necessarily involves discrete steps of composition, typing, and sending. Put another way, texts are not as spontaneous as oral utterances.
  5. Texts are open to potential manipulation and deceit. Unlike oral utterances, recipients of texts have little access to verbal or visual cues to detect dishonesty or inaccuracy. Given the very private nature of texts, they are sometimes sent with little reflection about the potential consequences of their content. In Marakah the Supreme Court of Canada noted the following at para. 36:

    One can even text privately in plain sight. A wife has no way of knowing that, when her husband appears to be catching up on emails, he is in fact conversing by text message with a paramour. A father does not know whom or what his daughter is texting at the dinner table. Electronic conversations can allow people to communicate details about their activities, their relationships, and even their identities that they would never reveal to the world at large, and to enjoy portable privacy in doing so.

[53] Let me be clear, I am not saying that text messages could never satisfy the necessity requirement of the hearsay exception. Rather, I am saying that the inherent nature of texting is an important factor to consider.

On the facts of this case, where the complainant testified, and testified to exactly the same effect as the text messages, the out-of-court statements were not superior and so necessity was not satisfied.

Justice Nakatsuru also concluded that even if the necessity requirement should be presumed to have been met, the text messages did not meet the reliability requirement. The only evidence that they were sent in a state of emotion from an overpowering event came from the complainant herself, who was the very person whose credibility was being challenged: it was somewhat circular to rely on her texts to prove that mental state. This was different from, for example, a 911 call which more or less by definition would be a cry for help. The content of the texts, however, was not clearly a call for help so much as a narrative of events, in which the complainant demurred at the suggestion that she should call the police. Further, portions of the text message conversations had been redacted: “It is hard to resist the inference that the redacted portions were irrelevant to the charge. If so, the fact that M.M. was sending messages unrelated to the sexual assaults she said she was experiencing at the time would have been relevant to the issue of reliability” (para 63). Ultimately the summary conviction appeal court judge concluded that the trial judge had erred in admitting the text messages for the truth of their contents. Given the importance those messages had had in the credibility assessment, a new trial was ordered.

Facebook and Refugee Applications

Officer’s reliance on suspicious Facebook likes in denying application for permanent resident visa not unreasonable

The Federal Court upheld an adjudicator’s denial of a permanent resident visa in Kabran v Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. The appellant was a member of a family which had applied for permanent residence from Jordan, having left Syria several years earlier. There were a number of issues which entered into the Officer’s credibility assessment in refusing the application, one of which related to the appellant’s Facebook page and questions asked with regard to it.

The Officer had asked for permission to view the appellant’s Facebook profile, and was given it. He asked the appellant about various photographs that he had “liked” or commented on, and the Federal Court noted the concerns the Officer had as a result:

[10] … The Officer showed him several photos he had “liked” and commented upon. Specifically, a photo of a deceased and mutilated person on which the Applicant had offered condolences. When asked who the person was, the Applicant denied knowing the person or making the comment. When shown a picture of a Facebook friend holding a gun, the Officer asked the Applicant why he had “liked” that photo, but the Applicant denied knowing the person or liking the photo. When shown a Facebook friend’s profile and asked why he “liked” a photo of a masked militant holding a weapon, he again denied knowing the person or liking the photo. He later disclosed that he had met this person on Facebook, contacted him and solicited funds as he had seen that he was a part of a charity and thought he would get money from him. When asked if he had received funds from that person or others on Facebook, he advised that he had not. The Applicant was then directed to another Facebook friend with a profile picture of a young armed man who appeared to be a rebel fighter and was asked who he was and how he knew him, the Applicant denied knowing the person. Similarly, when shown another photo of a Facebook friend, an armed rebel which he had “liked”, the Applicant denied knowing the person or liking the photo. The GCMS Notes indicate that throughout the interview the Applicant was not forthcoming and that the Officer was concerned that he was not being truthful in relation to his contacts and friends. The Officer was not satisfied that he was being truthful in relation to his prior comments and actions on social media or in relation to the circumstances surrounding his injuries sustained in Syria. The Officer recorded that the Applicant had been provided with several opportunities to be forthcoming and overcome the Officer’s concerns, but had not done so.

In appealing the decision the appellant argued that it was unreasonable to conclude that he supported armed groups in Syria on the basis that he had liked certain Facebook photos. In support of that argument he attempted to introduce an academic paper entitled “Taking Facebook at face value: The Refugee Review Tribunal’s use of social media evidence” to show that people are frequently not as they appear based on their Facebook profile. However, the Federal Court dismissed this argument as not responsive to the Officer’s true concern: “[t]he concern was not so much with the content of the Facebook profile, but the absence of sufficient explanations for the Applicant’s social media activity” (para 41).

The issue here was really the Officer’s credibility assessment, which was based on the Officer’s first hand observation of the appellant’s “demeanour during the interview and his blanket denials and lack of forthcomingness” (para 42) and deference was owed to this assessment. As a result the appeal was dismissed.

Nier la connaissance d’un courriel ne suffit pas pour écarter la présomption de réception

Dans le cadre d’un litige au sujet du renouvellement d’un contrat de services, les parties nient de part et d’autre d’avoir reçu certains documents et des problèmes de communication ressortent. La demanderesse n’aurait pas reçu les deux courriels de la défenderesse confirmant le non renouvellement du contrat, expliquant recevoir un grand volume de courriels en raison du nombre d’agents avec qui elle traite. De son côté, la défenderesse prétend n’avoir reçu aucune des factures de la demanderesse qui envoie pourtant, après l’instruction et pendant le délibéré, la preuve d’envoi de courriels de suivis.

Selon l’article 3 de la Loi concernant le cadre juridique des technologies de l’information (LCJTI), les courriels sont des documents technologiques et la loi crée une présomption de transmission et de réception des courriels. Nier la connaissance d’un courriel ne suffit pas à repousser cette présomption. Mais en dépit de la conclusion du Tribunal sur la présomption de réception des courriels, les clauses de renouvellement automatique sont valides et, lorsqu’elles sont claires, les tribunaux n’hésitent pas à les appliquer. Ce type de clause tire sa légitimité et son efficacité de la volonté initiale des cocontractants. La Cour suprême a d’ailleurs récemment confirmé la légalité de telles clauses pouvant même entraîner la perpétuité d’un contrat. Comme la défenderesse n’a pas respecté le formalisme prévu au contrat pour exprimer son désaccord, le contrat est renouvelé.

Campagne de dénigrement par courriels et Twitter – Résiliation de bail

Le locateur demande la résiliation du bail. En seulement 22 mois, il a reçu pas moins de 118 courriels de la locataire et 17 courriers recommandés. Il a dû mettre hors de service son adresse courriel afin d’éviter d’être enseveli par les messages de la locataire qui sont par ailleurs, dit-il, incompréhensibles, menaçants et harcelants. À ces nombreux courriels s’ajoute son invitation de lire des centaines de messages que la locataire transmet par Twitter à différents organismes ou personnes dont entre autres TVA, SPVM, Barreau du Québec et Justin Trudeau, messages qui sont sarcastiques, diffamatoires et méchants envers le locateur et ses dirigeants.

Pour justifier la résiliation du bail, le locateur doit établir qu'un locataire a un comportement et une attitude qui, par leurs répétitions et insistances, excèdent, dérangent et importunent gravement, troublant ainsi la jouissance normale des lieux. Le Tribunal conclut que la prépondérance de la preuve est à cet effet. La preuve permet de constater que la locataire est une source d'ennuis et de tracasseries pour le locateur. Elle permet aussi de juger que la locataire n’a pas le comportement d'une personne raisonnable, causant ainsi un préjudice sérieux au locateur qui ne peut gérer et administrer efficacement sa propriété au détriment de ses intérêts et des autres locataires. Le locateur a produit un nombre impressionnant de correspondances et de messages Twitter à caractère malicieux. Il est manifeste que le comportement de la locataire alourdit la gestion de l'immeuble de façon disproportionnée, justifiant la résiliation du bail pour préjudice sérieux.

Demande d’injonction provisoire pour forcer le transfert de bitcoins

Le demandeur requiert une injonction provisoire visant à ordonner à la défenderesse Blockstream Corporation, de lui transférer des bitcoins. Ces unités auraient été acquises au cours d’un contrat de consultation liant les parties.

Appliquant les critères en matière d’injonction provisoire, le Tribunal conclut qu’il n’y pas d’urgence à intervenir et que le demandeur n’établit pas un préjudice irréparable. La volatilité actuelle pouvant exister au sujet des bitcoins, ne rend pas l’intervention du Tribunal urgente. D’ailleurs, la valeur du bitcoin effectivement fluctue mais cette valeur est connue. Ultimement, et si le demandeur a raison dans ses prétentions, il pourra faire valoir la perte d’opportunité ou la perte de valeur. Le Tribunal est également d’avis que s’il ordonnait le transfert des bitcoins, il se trouverait ainsi à s’impliquer dans la résolution d’une partie du litige existant entre les parties. Or, ce n’est pas le rôle du Tribunal, au stade d’une injonction provisoire, d’agir ainsi.

Introduction en preuve de photos publiées sur Facebook

Dans le contexte d’une sentence arbitrale interlocutoire relative à une suspension, l’employeur au soutien de sa décision d’avoir recours à la filature, a invoqué les photos et informations provenant de la page Facebook de la réclamante qui, selon lui, révèlent que cette dernière s’est adonnée à des activités sportives et sociales incompatibles à sa condition médicale. La partie syndicale s’est opposée à cette preuve au motif qu’elle porte atteinte à la vie privée de la réclamante et qu’elle est en conséquence inadmissible.

L’arbitre conclut plutôt que le contenu d’une page Facebook ne peut être considéré comme faisant partie de la vie privée d’une personne, en raison de la multitude d’utilisateurs qui y ont accès ou à qui ces informations peuvent être transmises sans que la personne puisse le contrôler. Dans ces cas, on ne peut parler d’atteinte à la vie privée, puisqu’il y a consentement tacite à ce que les informations qu’on y publie soient partagées entre les utilisateurs. C’est la réclamante elle-même qui a publié les informations invoquées par l’employeur. Dans de telles circonstances, l’employeur n’attente pas à la vie privée de la réclamante en mettant en preuve les informations contenues sur sa page Facebook. La preuve est donc admissible.

Introduction en preuve de photos publiées sur Facebook

Le Tribunal est saisi d’une demande de réouverture d’enquête. Au nombre des questions soulevées, il y a l’introduction en preuve, dans le cadre du contre-interrogatoire du travailleur par le procureur de l’employeur, d’une photo publiée sur la page Facebook du travailleur ainsi que des informations liées à ce sujet et inscrites par le travailleur et d’autres personnes. En aucun temps, le procureur du travailleur n’a demandé au Tribunal une suspension ou un ajournement de l’audience. Il ne s’est pas objecté au dépôt de cette preuve et il n’a pas réinterrogé le travailleur après son contre-interrogatoire. Lors de son témoignage, le travailleur n’a jamais allégué qu’il s’agissait d’une vieille photo. Au contraire, il a témoigné du contexte de la prise de la photo en la situant à une date postérieure à celle de sa réclamation pour un accident du travail en 2016. Il a affirmé que ce n’était pas lui qui avait pêché ce poisson. Il a précisé qu’il s’agissait de la prise d’un doré par un ami. Pour sa part, il a assuré s’être limité à se faire prendre en photo avec le poisson.

En l’espèce, lesdites photos ne peuvent être considérées comme des éléments de preuve inconnus de la part du travailleur au moment de l’audience puisqu’il s’agit d’une photo du travailleur lui-même, mise sur sa page Facebook. De plus, pour la même raison, il apparaît impossible pour le travailleur de ne pas avoir connaissance de cette preuve avant l’audience puisqu’il s’agit de photos prises lors d’une partie pêche ayant eu lieu avant la date de l’audience. Le Tribunal décide que la demande de réouverture d’enquête de la part du procureur du travailleur ne peut être acceptée.

Critique de son employeur sur Facebook

Une travailleuse a été congédiée car on lui reproche d’avoir tenu sur Facebook des propos critiquant son employeur pour l’embauche d’un employé au comportement douteux. La travailleuse avait été informée de la politique de tolérance zéro et du congédiement immédiat si quelqu’un attaquait la crédibilité ou la fiabilité de l’entreprise, alors que celle-ci était en renouvellement de contrat avec son principal donneur d’ouvrage, la STO. Le texte sur Facebook, que l’employeur qualifie de diffamatoire, a été transmis à de nombreux amis de la travailleuse, dont des collègues de travail et des usagers de la STO.

Les agissements de la travailleuse justifient l’employeur d’avoir considéré qu’il y avait bris irréparable du lien de confiance entre l’entreprise et la travailleuse. La travailleuse savait que l’employeur ne voulait pas d’entrave dans ses négociations avec son client STO. Malgré tout, la travailleuse a préparé une pétition, qui finalement a été bloquée. Elle avait aussi déjà eu un avis de réprimande pour s’être adressée directement à la STO sans passer par le couloir hiérarchique habituel, c’est-à-dire, par son employeur. Facebook n’est pas un domaine privé, c’est un domaine public, ouvert à peu près à n’importe qui. Il y a là rupture du lien de confiance et le congédiement était justifié.

Diffamation pour un propos exprimé au sujet d’une entreprise : le caractère abusif du recours n’est pas démontré

La défenderesse a exprimé son opinion sur Facebook quant à la « mauvaise expérience» vécue par son conjoint lors de sa visite au gym de la demanderesse. Elle est poursuivie en diffamation et prétend que la poursuite est abusive.

Le Tribunal rejette la requête. L’état actuel du dossier ne démontre pas que le recours des demandeurs est manifestement mal fondé, frivole ou dilatoire. On ne peut conclure à l’absence manifeste de diffamation. Il n’est pas inconcevable qu’un citoyen ordinaire puisse estimer que les propos reprochés, compte tenu du contexte, ont déconsidéré la réputation des demandeurs. Dans son message, la défenderesse vise, nomme et critique Sto-Gym. Elle fait également allusion à une « mauvaise expérience…c’est à se demander si le bien-être et la sécurité de ses clients sont la priorité!!!!!! […] Tony s’est inscrit à un autre Gym et là au moins, ils font un bilan de la santé […] nous aimons encourager l’économie locale mais pas au prix du respect et de la sécurité. Sto Gym…ce n’est pas comme ça qu’on se bâti une clientèle ». Ces propos méritent davantage de circonspection de sorte que le juge du procès saura mieux à même d’évaluer leur qualification à la lumière du test de la personne raisonnable. Par ailleurs, les demandeurs n’admettent pas la véracité des propos et nient les insinuations qui s’en dégagent.

Il est possible que les termes employés par la défenderesse ne constituent pas de la diffamation compte tenu du contexte impliquant l’intérêt public et aussi parce qu’ils n’avaient qu’un seul but soit de soulever un questionnement eu égard à la sécurité et le bien-être des membres. Une preuve complète au fond permettra au juge du procès de mieux évaluer la preuve du contexte entourant les propos litigieux et de conclure ou non sur leur caractère diffamatoire ou fautif. Cette preuve est d’autant plus nécessaire et pertinente afin d’examiner particulièrement les insinuations découlant ou pouvant découler des propos litigieux et aussi évaluer leur caractère diffamatoire et le préjudice allégué par les demandeurs. De plus, la preuve à venir par les différents témoignages permettra de dissocier le vrai du faux. Elle permettra, aussi, de déterminer si les propos écrits par la défenderesse constituent un partage légitime de l’expérience personnelle vécue par son conjoint, ainsi qu’un questionnement eu égard à la sécurité des membres ou si les demandeurs sont victimes d’actes diffamatoires. Bref, si la défenderesse a commis une faute ou non ou si le recours des demandeurs porte plutôt atteinte à la liberté d’expression de la défenderesse. Quant à la fragilité du droit d’action, cela ne suffit pas pour conclure au rejet de la demande; il faut plutôt un constat de la frivolité ou du caractère abusif de la procédure, ce qui n’est pas le cas en l’espèce.

La géolocalisation des sportifs ne viole pas le droit à la vie privée – Europe

La Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme a estimé que l’obligation de localisation imposée à des sportifs ciblés en vue de la réalisation de contrôles antidopage inopinés ne viole pas le droit au respect de la vie privée prévue à l’article 8 de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme. Tenant compte de l’impact que les obligations de localisation ont sur la vie privée des requérants, la Cour considère néanmoins que les motifs d’intérêt général qui les rendent nécessaires sont d’une particulière importance et justifient les restrictions apportées aux droits accordés par l’article 8 de la Convention. Elle estime que la réduction ou la suppression de ces obligations conduirait à accroître les dangers du dopage pour la santé des sportifs et celle de toute la communauté sportive et irait à l’encontre de la communauté de vue européenne et internationale sur la nécessité d’opérer des contrôles inopinés pour conduire la lutte antidopage.

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