What are the errors in the reasons of a trial judge in a defamation case?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Chopak v. Patrick, 2020 ONSC 5431 (CanLII):

Perhaps the trial judge fell into these errors by what appears to have been a basic misunderstanding of the tort of defamation. At two places in his reasons the trial judge refers to libel, incorrectly, as an “intentional tort.” It is quite the opposite, as the tort is established simply by proof of publication: Breeden v. Black, 2012 SCC 19, [2012] 1 S.C.R. 666, at para. 20. While the intent of the speaker, as I will come to, may be relevant to the existence of an honest opinion and to malice, it is not to inform a finding of the meaning of the words.

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