I spent several hours today in front of my computer, watching the live stream put out by the CBC. What an interesting session! Craig Jones, lead lawyer for the Attorney General of BC set about refuting arguments presented by the challengers, and the final twenty minutes of his presentation were absolutely riveting. (Please forgive my prejudice in his favour!)
Daphne Bramham wrote in today's Vancouver Sun:
Lawyers for the BC government began their closing arguments Monday in BC Supreme Court in the constitutional reference case to determine the validity of Canada's polygamy law.
Both the provincial and federal attorneys-general contend that the law is constitutional.
But this is challenged by a court-appointed amicus, the BC Civil Liberties Association and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
"A polygamous society consumes its young," lead lawyer Craig Jones said. "It arms itself with instruments of abuse and shields itself behind institutions of secrecy, insularity and control."
Jones went on to say that is is "anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian, anti-liberal and antithetical to the proper functioning of any modern, rights-based society."
He summarized the challengers' positions and began what is expected to be a two- to two-and-a-half day argument and refutation of those views.
The closings will also summarize key testimony from more than two months of evidence.
Jones dismissed the amicus's written submission as notable for its "haughtiness" and "over the top rhetoric." He said that belittled the suffering of polygamy's victims.
Jones said the amicus also demeaned the serious issues by caricaturing the attorneys- generals' lawyers of being discriminatory and prejudice.
The BCCLA's view that the law be struck down because there is not sufficient social harm to merit a criminal prohibition, Jones said, does "not standing up to scrutiny."
Further information became available today of the cross-border trafficking of young girls from Canada to the United States. For more information on this, see Bramham's article in the Vancouver Sun at http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Bountiful+implicated+human+smuggling+scheme+send+child+brides+United+States/4513704/story.html