Join us for a panel discussion on the upcoming reference at the British Columbia Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of s. 293 of the Criminal Code which prohibits polygamy in Canada. This case has attracted wide interest, and will involve various interveners, including the Asper Centre together with the Canadian Coalition for Children and Youth, and other religious, women’s and children’s, and civil liberties organizations. Cheryl Milne, Director of the Asper Centre, will moderate a panel including faculty members Lorraine Weinrib, Rebecca Cook, and Mohammad Fadel. Professor Weinrib, who has published widely in the area of the Charter and teaches several courses in constitutional law, will address the issue of freedom of religion with respect to polygamy, particularly the treatment of children and vulnerable persons by religious institutions, and more specifically the questions of religious framing of the family with reference to polygamous communities. Professor Fadel, who teaches Religion and the Liberal State: The Case of Islam and has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history, will discuss polygamy under Islamic law and associated issues freedom of religion. Finally, Professor Cook, Faculty Chair in International Human Rights and Co-Director of the International Programme on Reproductive and Sexual Health Law at the University of Toronto, will address Canada’s obligations under international law with respect to polygamy.
A light lunch will be served.
March 23, 2010