No anonymity for the administrators of Say his name, the appeals court confirms

For its part, the Court of Appeal rejected a request for anonymity from an administrator of the Dis son nom (DSN) list, which has been listing the identities of suspected sex offenders online since July 2020.

Posted at 4:53pm
Updated at 6:18 p.m

Frederik Xavier Duhamel

Frederik Xavier Duhamel
The press

The highest court of the province thus confirmed on Tuesday the judgment of the Higher Regional Court of February 2021. It also rejected the application for leave to appeal against a decision received by the administrators of the DSN to communicate the denunciations.

The dispute is directed against the latter and Jean-François Marquis, whose name – which has since been withdrawn – was initially on the DSN list. In particular, the latter accuses them of not taking any steps to obtain his version of the facts. He is demanding $50,000 in damages and that her identity be revealed during the trial.

“Of course we are satisfied,” said Mr. Marquis’ lawyer, Me Pierre-Hugues Miller, after reading the verdict. “It’s a complete victory for us. »

Former court illustrator Delphine Bergeron is one of two women behind the list. She voluntarily revealed her identity in a newspaper interview in September 2020 The duty. However, the second administrator does not want to be known. In previous judgments it is marked with the initials AA.

However, to maintain anonymity, a party must “prove that disclosure of its identity […] poses a serious risk to his privacy and dignity, and not only harms his private interest, but also poses a serious risk to an important public interest in confidentiality,” said Judge Geneviève Marcotte’s decision, read by the judges Manon Savard and Suzanne Gagné. “This is an exceptional step,” stresses the Court.

“I find that the complainants […] have shown no such threat in this case, ”she decides.

The press and CBC/Radio-Canada intervened on the file in favor of disclosing A’s identity. HAS.

“AA alleges that her motivation for creating the DSN website and listing is related to the fact that she was a victim of sexual assault” and that she “wants to free the victims’ voice,” notes Judge Marcotte. “But neither that desire, though commendable, nor her status as a victim absolves her of the duty of care or exonerates her if.” […] it commits a fault towards the denounced that leads to responsibility. »

It would also be “unfair if applicant AA could resort to anonymity,” the judge added, when she was accused of opening public denunciation proceedings against alleged attackers without due diligence and in disregard for her reputation.

“I think it sends a pretty clear message that if you’re going to do this type of activity, you can’t do it anyway, then you have to do it with your face uncovered,” Frau said.e miller. Neither Delphine Bergeron nor the administrators’ lawyers had responded to the inquiries The press at the time of publication of this text.

Regarding the will of the DSN administrators to appeal against the order to transmit the denunciations, the court dismissed their arguments, considering in particular the victims protected by the blacking out of their names.

However, the question might be obsolete. Mr. Marquis alleges that the applicants destroyed the evidence covered by the order, an allegation which “cannot be confirmed in view of the content of the evidence,” the court states.

Me Miller does not anticipate a merit hearing on his client’s civil complaint until late 2023.

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