Directive Given About Publishing Rehtaeh Parsons's Name

Justice/Public Prosecution Service

December 17, 2014 9:24 AM

Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab issued a ministerial directive today, Dec. 17, to clarify the use of Rehtaeh Parsons's name under the existing publication ban.

The directive, issued to the Public Prosecution Service, says no breach of the ban identifying Rehtaeh Parsons as the victim in the recent high-profile child pornography case, by media, or in any forum, will be prosecuted, unless her name is used in a derogatory way.

"The intent of this directive is to make it clear that the respectful use of Rehtaeh's name will not be prosecuted," said Ms. Diab. "This decision wasn't made lightly. I carefully considered the original intent of the law to protect victims, and I listened to the views of Rehtaeh's parents, supporters, legal experts and Nova Scotians. This directive strikes the right balance."

The directive clarifies the position the Public Prosecution Service has taken in providing advice to police, who have investigated a number of complaints since the ban was imposed in May. If the victim's name is used in a derogatory way, without respect, the director of public prosecutions can proceed with prosecuting a publication ban violation.

"Consultations with the attorney general have resulted in a directive which provides the public with a better understanding of those situations where prosecutorial discretion will be exercised to deal with publication ban breaches," said Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions. "Clarity was needed, and that's what this directive does."

Ms. Diab said it is important for the public to discuss issues in society that affect teens.

"I want Nova Scotians to talk about the important issues surrounding Rehtaeh's case," said Ms. Diab. "The publication ban was not intended to hinder those discussions. Educating teens and parents and raising awareness is part of Rehtaeh's legacy and that should continue."

The directive and a plain language explanation are available online at www.novascotia.ca/pps/ .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Attorney General and Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab

issued a ministerial directive today (December 17th), to clarify

the use of Rehtaeh Parsons's name under the existing publication

ban.

     The directive, issued to the Public Prosecution Service,

says no breach of the ban identifying Rehtaeh Parsons as the

victim in the recent high-profile child pornography case by the

media, or in any forum, will be prosecuted, unless her name is

used in a derogatory way.

     The directive clarifies the position the Public Prosecution

Service has taken in providing advice to police, who have

investigated a number of complaints since the ban was imposed in

May.
     
     Ms. Diab said it is important for the public to discuss

issues in society that affect teens.

     The directive and a plain language explanation are available

online at w-w-w dot nova scotia dot c-a slash p-p-s.

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Media Contacts: Chris Hansen
                Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service
                902-424-2225
                Cell: 902-430-5529
                E-mail: Chris.Hansen@novascotia.ca

                Andrew Preeper
                Department of Justice
                902-424-3313
                Cell: 902-222-0266
                E-mail: Andrew.Preeper@novascotia.ca