26 March 2012

No Further Reference on Polygamy Prohibition

The Attorney General today announced the provincial government's intention not to obtain an opinion on the constitutionality of s. 293 of the Criminal Code from the Court of Appeal.

Chief Justice Bauman of the Supreme Court of British Columbia released his decision on the government's original reference on 24 November 2011. Government's announcement means that it is content to be guided by the Chief's reasoning and conclusions, and suggests that the government will take action based those conclusions. Unsurprisingly, the Attorney General's press release quotes her as saying:
"The assistant deputy attorney general for the criminal justice branch has now expanded the mandate of special prosecutor Peter Wilson, QC, to include possible polygamy prosecutions. Mr. Wilson will conduct an independent charge assessment review of any information brought forward from the ongoing RCMP investigation and determine if, based on British Columbia’s established charge assessment guidelines, the evidence warrants proceeding with polygamy or other charges."
If I recall correctly, this would be the provincial government's third attempt to convince a special prosecutor to lay charges against the Bountiful leadership.

Click on the "Polygamy" label below for more information, including a discussion of Chief Justice Bauman's decision.