B.C. Ruling on Jurisdiction Over Google

  • The Court of Appeal in B.C. has upheld an order requiring Google – a foreign entity who was not a party to the original proceedings – to remove a company’s website from all of its worldwide search results. The Court has sent a message that the Canadian judiciary is “willing to ignore provincial and national borders in order to uphold justice in the business world”. Ren Bucholz, a Toronto lawyer, deems this decision ‘disastrous’ because of its implications on Canadian businesses abroad or for the way countries will regulate what Canadians do here.
  • In making the decision, the Court referred to a European decision of a case involving the right to be forgotten. It was noted that the courts of other jurisdictions have found it necessary to make orders that have international effects. The concern is that Canada took jurisdiction over Google solely because it advertised in B.C., and this can be problematic if this becomes an accepted standard for jurisdiction. Bucholz alludes to a scenario where the Egyptian judiciary decides that it wants certain Google content off the web – how is this to be decided? How should local decisions affect the global internet?