Christian-based institution Trinity Western University (TWU) has announced that it will pursue legal action against the Law Society of British Columbia for its decision to reverse its recognition of graduates from the proposed TWU law school.
Both the Law Society and the provincial government revoked their consent of the law school over the last few weeks. The Law Society’s benchers reversed their decision when 74 per cent of its members voted to reject the law school in a binding referendum.
“By prejudging our future law graduates not on their qualifications but the Community Covenant they agree to abide by while students at TWU, the Law Society has infringed on the human rights of TWU and its students,” said TWU president Bob Kuhn in a statement.
The institution claims the decision to rescind the approval was not grounded on the quality of TWU’s academic program, but rather on its Christian behavioural standards for sexual intimacy within the boundaries of between a man and a woman.
Opponents of the law school cite human rights concerns over a covenant that all students and faculty must sign. The covenant includes rules that require students, faculty and administrators to refrain from engaging in sexual intimacy that “violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
“The Supreme Court ruled in its 2001 decision involving approval of the TWU education program that, just as is the case with respect to the law school, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the religious views of TWU graduates lessen their competence to practice their profession in Canada’s pluralistic society.”
Besides suing the Law Society of B.C., TWU is also pursuing legal action against the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) and the Nova Scotia Barristers Society for their rejection of TWU law school graduates.
The proposed law school has already been approved by law societies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Yukon.
TWU had been planning to open the law school at the university’s Langley campus in 2016.
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