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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER N-4

AN ACT RESPECTING NEWSPAPERS AND BOOKS

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. No publication without affidavit

4. Incorporated company

5. Affidavits in other cases

6. A change requires affidavit

7. Affidavits before Provincial Court judge, etc.

8. False affidavit

9. Affidavits admitted as evidence

10. Name of printer and publisher

11. Inspection of affidavits

12. Copy of newspaper to be delivered to minister

13. Notice where publication discontinued

14. Printer's name to be on a book or paper

15. Name and address of author

16. Penalty


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Newspapers and Books Act.

RSN1970 c272 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "candidate" includes a person who, after the dissolution of the House of Assembly, or the occurrence of a vacancy in its membership, and until the return of the writ for the next election, is publicly represented personally or by others as standing or intending to stand, and who intends to stand, or has stood, for election as a member of the House of Assembly for a seat then vacant;

(b) "minister" means the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs; and

(c) "newspaper" includes a newspaper or other paper containing public news or intelligence or serving the purpose of a newspaper.

RSN1970 c272 s2

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No publication without affidavit

3. A newspaper not shall be published until affidavits as described in this Act have been delivered to the minister.

RSN1970 c272 s3; 1973 No18 Sch B;
1979 c49 Sch D; 1981 c4 Sch F; 1989 c30 Sch B

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Incorporated company

4. Where a newspaper is printed or published by an incorporated company

(a) the president of the company or, if none, the chief executive of the company, and the chief editor of the newspaper, shall each make oath or affirm to and deposit with the minister an affidavit that he or she is acting in that capacity, with a description of the building where the paper is to be published, and the title of the paper;

(b) the secretary of the company shall make oath or affirm and deposit with the minister an affidavit that the newspaper is being printed or published by the company, giving the title of the paper and the name of the company, and the names of the directors; and

(c) the president of the company or, if none, the chief executive officer, the directors, the printer, publisher and the chief editor of the paper shall be jointly and individually liable for the publication of a defamation contained in the newspaper.

RSN1970 c272 s4; 1973 No18 Sch B;
1979 c49 Sch D; 1981 c4 Sch F; 1983 c63 s22;
1989 c30 Sch B

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Affidavits in other cases

5. (1) In a case not covered by section 4 the printer, publisher and chief editor of a newspaper shall make oath or affirm to and deposit with the minister an affidavit that he or she is acting or about to act in that capacity, with a description of the building where the paper is to be published and the title of the paper.

(2) The printer, publisher and chief editor of the paper shall be jointly and individually liable for the publication of a defamation contained in the newspaper.

RSN1970 c272 s5; 1973 No18 Sch B;
1979 c49 Sch D; 1981 c4 Sch F; 1983 c63 s22;
1989 c30 Sch B

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A change requires affidavit

6. Affidavits shall be sworn or affirmed and deposited with the minister whenever there is a change in the information required under section 4 or 5.

RSN1970 c272 s6

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Affidavits before Provincial Court judge, etc.

7. Affidavits shall be made before a Provincial Court judge, justice of the peace or commissioner of the Supreme Court.

RSN1970 c272 s7; 1979 c38 s7

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False affidavit

8. A person required under this Act to make an affidavit who knowingly or recklessly states falsely information, or omits to give information required, is guilty of an offence and is also liable for penalties to which persons are liable for wilful and corrupt perjury.

RSN1970 c272 s8

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Affidavits admitted as evidence

9. Affidavits made under this Act or copies certified by the minister or the Deputy Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs to be true copies, shall in all proceedings be admitted as conclusive evidence of the facts contained or mentioned in them against the person making them, except as against a person proving that he or she has before the date of the publication to which the proceeding relates, deposited with the minister an affidavit that the person has stopped acting as publisher, printer or editor of the paper.

RSN1970 c272 s9; 1973 No18 Sch B;
1979 c49 Sch D; 1981 c4 Sch F; 1989 c30 Sch B

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Name of printer and publisher

10. (1) Newspapers shall contain, printed in a conspicuous place, the name and address of the publisher and printer.

(2) A person printing or publishing a newspaper without the information required under this section is guilty of an offence against this Act.

RSN1970 c272 s10

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Inspection of affidavits

11. The Minister or Deputy Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs shall upon application by a person permit inspection of the affidavits, and upon application by a solicitor deliver a copy certified according to this Act to a solicitor requiring the copy.

RSN1970 c272 s11; 1973 No18 Sch B;
1979 c49 Sch D; 1981 c4 Sch F; 1989 c30 Sch B

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Copy of newspaper to be delivered to minister

12. (1) The printer or publisher of a newspaper shall within 10 days of the publication of each issue deliver at the office of the minister a copy of the issue, signed by the printer or publisher, and the printer or publisher shall be entitled to be paid half-yearly the usual subscription for the newspapers by the minister and the minister is authorized to pay the subscription out of the contingencies of his or her office.

(2) Upon application by a person to the minister in order that the newspaper may be produced in evidence in a proceeding, within 2 years of the publication, the minister shall, at the expense of the party applying, produce the newspaper at the trial, and the production in evidence of a copy of the newspaper shall be sufficient proof of the publication of it.

(3) If a newspaper is in the custody of a court, and cannot be conveniently produced at a time required, the minister shall produce it as soon as possible.

RSN1970 c272 s12; 1973 No18 Sch B;
1979 c49 Sch D; 1981 c4 Sch F; 1989 c30 Sch B

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Notice where publication discontinued

13. Where the publication of a newspaper is discontinued the printer or publisher of that newspaper shall, within 10 days after the publication of the final issue, deliver to the minister a written notice notifying the minister that publication of the newspaper has been discontinued and of the date of publication of the final issue of the newspaper.

RSN1970 c272 s13; 1973 No18 Sch B;
1979 c49 Sch D; 1981 c4 Sch F; 1989 c30 Sch B

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Printer's name to be on a book or paper

14. (1) A person printing a book or paper intended to be published or dispersed shall print upon the front of each paper, if it is printed on 1 side only, and upon the 1st and last leaves of every book or paper consisting of more than 1 leaf his or her name and address, and address of his or her printing establishment.

(2) A person who omits to print the name and address upon a paper so printed, and a person who publishes or disperses or assists in publishing or dispersing a paper or book on which the name and address of the person printing it is not printed as required, is guilty of an offence under this Act.

(3) Nothing in this Act shall extend to papers printed by the authority and for the use of the government, or the Legislature of this province, nor to a paper printed or published by a member of the clergy, and containing religious instruction only.

RSN1970 c272 s14

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Name and address of author

15. (1) The true name, and address of the author shall be attached

(a) to circulars, pamphlets, placards or other similar publications, articles or reports in a newspaper not written by a member of its staff, and letters in a newspaper, containing a reference to the Lieutenant-Governor, or other officer, administering the government of the province, which is published; and

(b) to all publications and matter described in paragraph (a) containing abusive, scurrilous, or defamatory references to a candidate, published between the date of a proclamation for a general or by-election at which the candidate intends to stand, and the return of the writ for the election.

(2) The particulars set out in subsection (1) shall be, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence of the authorship by the person named there of the publication or matter to which they are attached.

(3) The chief editor, printer and publisher of a newspaper, and the president, and directors, or if none, the chief executive of a company printing or publishing newspapers, in which a publication contrary to this section is made, is guilty of an offence against this Act.

RSN1970 c272 s15

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Penalty

16. (1) A person who contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500, and in default of payment of a fine, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months.

(2) Where a complainant or defendant feels aggrieved by the judgment of the Provincial Court judge he or she may appeal to the Trial Division, provided notice of appeal is given to the Provincial Court judge within 7 days after the judgment, and security satisfactory to the Provincial Court judge is entered for payment of the amount of the fine and the costs of the trial and appeal.

RSN1970 c272 s16; 1974 No57 s38 (262);
1986 c42 Sch A

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