Queen's University

Landmark polygamy B.C. court case decision

2011-12-01

Queen’s University law professors Bev Baines and Nick Bala are available to discuss today's decision of a landmark B.C. polygamy trial that may lead to the decriminalization of the law against multiple marriages. The court will release its decision at around 10 am (Vancouver time)/1 pm (Toronto time).

Both professors plan to read to ruling this afternoon and will be available after 3 p.m. for comment.

Professor Bala was involved in the B.C polygamy case as an expert witness and has completed academic studies on legal issues related to polygamy. He is in favour of polygamy remaining a criminal offence.

Professor Baines is a constitutional law expert and former head of Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s. She feels polygamy should be decriminalized. She co-authored a study (commissioned by Status of Women Canada) on using the Charter to decriminalize polygamy. She believes it is contrary to the Charter to criminalize people for their marital relationships and the polygamy law achieves nothing because it has been on the books since 1892 and rarely used.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or Anne.Craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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