Magazine article Herizons

A CRUEL ARITHMETIC: Inside the Case against Polygamy

Magazine article Herizons

A CRUEL ARITHMETIC: Inside the Case against Polygamy

Article excerpt


Inside the Case Against Polygamy


Irwin Law


Craig Jones holds law degrees from the University of British Columbia and from Harvard. For six years, he was the lead constitutional litigator for the attorney general of B.C. He was also the lead counsel for B.C. in the 2011 polygamy reference case.

The polygamy reference case wasn't a court case in the traditional sense. Rather, the matter of Canada's ban on polygamy was referred by the B.C. government to the courts after criminal charges of polygamy against Bountiful, B.C., religious leaders Winston Blackmore and James Oler were stayed in 2009.

Jones is a born writer, and, in spite of the inevitable legal jargon, the reader is easily able to follow the various arguments for and against criminalizing polygamy. The book begins with the opening of the reference case in December 2010. Jones and his team raced against the clock, discussing strategies to counter the arguments of the side favouring the decriminalization of polygamy, which was led by court-appointed amicus curiae George Macintosh. The author discusses how difficult it was to establish that polygamy causes verifiable harm, especially since a minority of women support the practice. …

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