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Canada’s Chief Justice Cautions Jews on Recourse to Anti-defamation Legislation

Jewish communities were cautioned today that, while “they have a right to ask for state intervention and control” when they are “continually maligned” in hate literature, they must “be careful that the use of anti-defamation legislation does not encroach upon the basic rights of society.”

This advice was stated by Chief Justice Dalton C. Wells in an address to the convention of the Toronto Men’s and Women’s Council of B’nai B’rith. “Complaints about hate literature should only be made when attacks upon any one group are virulent enough to be condemned by the public,” he said, adding that “it should be necessary to get the consent either of the Attorney General or the Minister of Justice before proceeding with such cases.” “While Jewish people traditionally have been slandered in hate literature, all groups in society must be careful that the use of anti-defamation legislation does not encroach upon the basic rights of society,” the Chief Justice stated.

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