Next Wednesday is set to be a big day in B.C. as the Supreme Court of the Canadian Province rules on whether the Canadian Criminal Code provision against polygamy is a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This is no small case, with direct impact across Canada, an almost certain appeal coming to the Supreme Court of Canada whatever the result, on top of 42 days of courtroom clashes in just the last and most significant round of this case.
What will Bauman do? Chief Justice Robert Bauman, that is, who reserved judgement after the marathon trial, and whose court has arranged a lock-in for reporters ahead of the judgement being released on the B.C. Supreme Court website.
He has three main options – Back the polygamy ban, rule it unconstitutional, or say that the polygamy ban could only be treated used in cases that were abusive, leaving everyone else free to practice polygamy if they wished. It is possible that he may yet come up with a secret fourth option that no-one anticipates. For years a succession of lawyers have believed that the polygamy ban would not survive a Charter challenge.
Meanwhile tension has been raised by the carbon-copy ‘Sister Wives’ case of Brown v Utah, the Darger’s “Three in Love” book tour, and on the other side of the equation by the conviction of child abuser Warren Jeffs, and related investigations by the Mounties, which mysteriously surfaced at just the right time to apply maximum pressure on the Court’s ruling.
See more at the Province online.