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BC Supreme Court dismisses Taser's call for Braidwood review

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has dismissed Taser International's petition for a judicial review of the first phase of the Braidwood Inquiry into Taser use.

In his reasons for judgment, Justice Robert Sewell said Tuesday Taser International was treated fairly by the study commission and presented commissioner Thomas Braidwood with many scientific documents and experts to speak on their behalf.

Sewell also said the commission had no obligation to give Taser a copy of their report -- which found that conducted energy weapons can cause injury or death in some circumstances -- before it was released to the public.

"In my view, there is no merit in this submission," Sewell wrote in his decision. "I can find nothing in the record which would suggest that the Commissioner carried out the inquiry, the public forums and his investigation in a manner which was in any way inconsistent with his publicly stated intentions."

The Study Commission phase of the Braidwood Inquiry took a deep look at conducted energy weapons, such as Tasers, to see how they were used by police agencies in B.C. and what health risks, if any, they posed.

Braidwood's Study Commission Report concluded that there was some risk of death or serious injury associated with the use of conducted energy weapons and recommended a series of rules restricting their use. The provincial government immediately adopted the recommendations.

The study commission was conducted separately from the second phase, which specifically looked at the Taser-related death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver International Airport in 2007.

Matt Kieltyka reports for 24 Hours Vancouver.

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