Trinity Western University (TWU) has taken the Law Society of British Columbia’s decision to refuse the accreditation of its future law graduates to the B.C. Supreme Court.
In November 2014, the Society’s Board of Governors rescinded its previous approval of TWU’s law school program, which would have allowed its graduates to practice law in the province. The decision was made after the province’s lawyers overwhelmingly voted to reject the law school’s accreditation.
Those who oppose the accreditation of the Langley Christian institution’s law school take issue with a covenant that all students and faculty must sign. The covenant bans any sexual activity that “violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman,” such as gay sex. Opponents of the school argue that this is a form of discrimination that contradicts the principles of the Law Society.
TWU’s court challenge in B.C. leans on the institution’s Charter right of the freedom of conscience and religion, an argument that recently reversed a similar decision by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s to refuse the law school’s accreditation. However, the decision by Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court is being appealed by the Barristers’ Society.
Public hearings in B.C. began today and are expected to continue daily until Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.