Law inadequate on Internet crimes
In their ruling, the Supreme Court justices noted that the law is woefully unclear about such Internet-related crimes.
They urged Parliament to pass new laws on disseminating information over the Internet, noting that it is not for the courts to transform existing laws or create new ones.
"The courts cannot contain the inherent dangers of cyberspace crime by expanding or transforming offences, such as counseling, that were conceived to meet a different and unrelated need," Justice Morris J. Fish wrote.
Justice Louise Charron, writing for the court's three dissenting judges, said Hamilton should walk free on all counts, including the credit-card fraud charge.
But they concluded as well that the laws on counseling crimes are not clear when it comes to the Internet and email.
"The offence of counseling, applying as it does to all crimes, is too blunt an instrument to address this situation without imperiling a range of harmless and/or valuable expression," Charron wrote.