B.C. Internet Defamation Suit Allowed in Plaintiff’s Local Jurisdiction

If you live in British Columbia and someone writes some nasty, mean, untrue things about you on the internet, you can sue them in B.C. for defamation, even if they live in another jurisdiction, B.C. Supreme Court has ruled.

LIBEL – a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation. – defame (someone) by publishing a libel.

Normally actions outside your jurisdiction are difficult to sue for except an action filed in the wrongdoers location/jurisdiction… but the internet has changed a few things and this ruling may help people being defamed by far away people or organizations. This is an issue of law under “conflict of laws” and forum non conveniens this ruling explores those ideas and the importance of being able to assess reputation where one’s reputation resides (plaintiff’s residence) and the fact that any Internet publication goes worldwide which can damage reputation in any jurisdiction, including plaintiff’s local jurisdiction.

Burke v. NYP Holdings, Inc., 2005 BCSC 1287


[41]            I am satisfied that Mr. Burke has met the onus of establishing jurisdiction simpliciter.  As well, I am satisfied that Mr. Burke has met the onus of establishing that the most convenient forum for this matter to be heard is British Columbia and that New York is not a convenient forum for the parties to resolve the issues which have been raised in that action.  Accordingly, the application of the Defendant, NYP Holdings Inc., doing business as the New York Post that the Pleadings in this Action be struck out and/or that there be a stay of proceedings is dismissed.


Burke v. NYP Holdings, Inc., 2005 BCSC 1287 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/1lmqk>


Here’s a law firm website that reported it and deals with cyber libel and privacy issues.

Burke v. NYP Holdings, Inc.