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No prosecutions in Rehtaeh Parsons publication ban

Now, you can use her name.

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Rehtaeh Parsons
  • Rehtaeh Parsons

Rehtaeh Parsons has her name back. An unjust and impractical publication ban has, for all practical purposes, been struck down today.

Lena Metlege Diab, the Attorney General and Justice Minister, has announced that almost all breaches of the publication ban will not be prosecuted. Issued to the Public Prosecution Service, the directive says no breach by media or the public in any forum will be prosecuted unless Parsons 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," Diab says in a release. "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."

Since the phrase “high-profile child porn case” came into our lexicon, a number of media sources have argued against the ban. As has Parson’s parents. Though police have investigated those breaches, no charges have been filed.

The name of the two men charged with creating and distributing child pornography still cannot be named as they were youths at the time of the offence.

"I want Nova Scotians to talk about the important issues surrounding Rehtaeh's case," said 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 can be viewed here. We’ve updated some of our Rehtaeh Parsons stories to now feature her name.

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