In spite of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold Robert Pickton’s guilty verdict, publication bans remain on a great deal of evidence heard during the three stages of Pickton’s legal procedures: the preliminary hearing in 2003, the voir dire in 2005 and the trial itself in 2007. The most controversial of these bans is that of the name of a woman nearly killed in Pickton’s trailer in 1997. Although I wrote about her in The Pickton File in 2007 — when we could name her but not disclose her story — now we can tell her story but not her name.
This Friday, August 13, expect a dogfight in the Supreme Court in New Westminster when the trial judge, James Williams, will hear arguments to allow her name to be made public. The lawyer acting for the media will be Robert Anderson, a partner at Farris LLP in Vancouver, while the woman will be represented by a lawyer from Peck and Company. Given that her name and story appear in hundreds of websites now the ban seems a little … ridiculous.