Law Society / Webster Foundation team up on media workshop

When the Police Come Calling: Search Warrants in the Newsroom

The Workshop

On November 8 the Law Society and the Jack Webster Foundation co-sponsored a workshop in Vancouver to assist news editors and reporters with one of the toughest legal dilemmas of their careers: What are a journalist's rights and obligations when police arrive with a search warrant or serve a subpoena?

Some 50 journalists attended the session, sharing their experiences and probing the minds of Canada's most recognized media lawyers: David Sutherland of Vancouver, counsel for B.C. and Yukon community newspapers, Toronto lawyer Stuart Robertson, counsel for the National Post, the Ontario Community Newspapers Association and author of several books on media law, David Coles of Halifax, who represents CBC (radio and TV), Thomson newspapers and several community newspapers and Vancouver lawyer Roger McConchie who represents The Globe and Mail.

The Law Society and the Jack Webster Foundation are planning the next media workshop for the Fall of 2002.

Webster Award for Legal Journalism

Earlier this Fall, Salim Jiwa, a reporter for the Vancouver Province, was honoured as 2001 winner of the Jack Webster Award for Legal Journalism (sponsored by the Law Society), for his coverage of the arrest, trial and conviction of terrorist Ahmed Ressam. An independent judging panel, composed of Ted Hughes, Q.C. and Marvin Storrow, Q.C., selected Mr. Jiwa's entry from among many high-calibre submissions.

The Law Society has offered an annual award for legal journalism of the year since 1987. It is now administered by the Jack Webster Foundation, with continuing sponsorship by the Society. The award honours a journalist or a team of journalists for a story about legal issues, the administration of justice or the legal profession in B.C., based on news value, accuracy, effectiveness and style in explaining legal issues to the public.

If you see top-notch legal journalism - whether on radio, TV or in print - consider encouraging the journalist to submit an entry. More information is available in the media section of the Law Society website at and on the Webster Foundation website at

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Submissions to the Foundation will be accepted in June, 2002 (deadline June 28, 2002) for work aired or published between June 1, 2001 and May 31, 2002.