Questions remain about polygamy law

By: The Canadian Press

 | Aug 17, 2014 - 8:55 AM |
Both Winston Blackmore and James Oler face charges of having multiple marriages in a religious commune in southeastern B-C known as Bountiful.

In 2011, a B-C Supreme Court judge ruled the ban on multiple marriages did not violate the charter after hearing a constitutional reference case, but legal experts say it probably will not prevent another challenge.

Nicholas Bala, a law professor at Queen's University, says he expects the criminal case to be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, whatever the outcome.

Beverley Baines, another Queen's University law professor, says a legal challenge could succeed without arguing about religious freedom.

Baines, who believes the law should be struck down, says the defence could claim there is no proof polygamy is always harmful to women and children.

None of the allegations against Oler and Blackmore have been proven in court.

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