Hyperlinks make the World Wide Web go round. They find and connect information and content from a wealth of sources on the web including, from time to time, defamatory material. Newton, the owner and operator of a website in British Columbia, posted an article entitled “Free Speech in Canada”. The article itself was not alleged to be defamatory of Crookes, a politician. However, it incorporated hyperlinks to other internet websites that contained defamatory material. Notwithstanding requests from Crookes and his lawyer, Newton refused to remove the hyperlinks. Did Newton’s act of hyperlinking to internet websites constitute “publication” of the defamatory material? The Supreme Court of Canada in Crookes v Newton  3 S.C.R. 269 responded with an emphatic “no”. Though a correct outcome on the facts, there were three distinct judicial approaches emanating from the court that bear scrutiny.
Defamation, Publication, Hyperlinks
Law, Society and Governance
Law Quarterly Review
Sweet and Maxwell
CHAN, Gary Kok Yew.
Defamation via hyperlinks: More than meets the eye. (2012). Law Quarterly Review. 128, 346-351. Research Collection School Of Law.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sol_research/1915
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.