Media and rights groups on Thursday won the right to intervene in a news outlet's appeal of an order that one of its reporters turn over his materials to the RCMP.
The ruling by Ontario's chief justice over objections of the government comes in a case that pits journalistic rights against those of police investigating potential criminal offences.
In making his decision, Justice George Strathy rejected Crown arguments that the groups were trying to reinterpret already well-settled law, or introduce evidence not already before the court.
The case involves an order that reporter Ben Makuch and Vice Media hand over background materials related to interviews he did with a Canadian man, Farah Shirdon, whom the RCMP accuses of terrorism-related offences.
Police have argued the material is crucial to their ongoing investigation.
The three separate groups now allowed to intervene in Vice's appeal – to be heard in February – comprise an eight-member media coalition that includes the CBC and APTN, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.