Trinity Western University to be recognized by the B.C. Law Society

A recent ruling by the B.C. Court of Appeal will require the B.C. Law Society to recognize law degrees to be issued by the university

  • Nov. 9, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness has applauded the recent ruling by the B.C. Court of Appeal which requires the B.C. Law Society to recognize law degrees issued by the yet-to-open faculty of law at Trinity Western University, a private evangelical Christian university in Langley.

Throness, a Christian himself, believes the decision affirms the rights of Christians, arguing that pluralism requires that disagreeing groups tolerate each other’s code of conduct.

“You should be able to have that code of conduct and adhere to it with integrity,” said Throness. “Everybody has their own code of ethics including gay and lesbian people, and you know, that’s fine, but they all have a right to their code of ethics.

“Our freedom is demonstrated when we disagree.”

The decision, released Nov. 1 morning, says a society “that does not admit of and accommodate differences cannot be a free and democratic society,” the B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that ensures law school graduates from TWU will be able to work in this province.

The society initially approved the law school at TWU, but later withdrew that approval because of controversy over the community covenant all students and staff at TWU are expected to sign.

It asks students to abstain from sexual intimacy outside of marriage, which is defined as between a man and a woman.

Critics complained the clause was anti-gay and would violate a lawyer’s duty to represent all clients.

In the written decision, the appeal court said the “case demonstrates that a well-intentioned majority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism, can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal.”

The ruling was welcomed by Earl Phillips, the executive director of the proposed School of Law.

“The Court of Appeal unanimously agreed that the Community Covenant is not a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Phillips said.

“It is not unlawful discrimination.”

TWU won approval to open a law school from the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education in December 2013, but the school has not yet opened because of multiple court battles.

“Everyone, religious or not, should celebrate this decision as a protection of our Canadian identity,” said TWU spokesperson Amy Robertson.

“The freedom to believe as we choose and practice accordingly is one of the most profound privileges we have as Canadians. We are a diverse, pluralistic society, committed to respecting one another even when we disagree. This is something people in many other countries don’t enjoy.”

The university maintains that all students, including LGBTQ students, are welcome to attend and be open about their identities as long as they abide by the community covenant.

TWU has also been to court in Nova Scotia and Ontario to get recognition for its law school graduates, winning a July decision in Nova Scotia and losing a June ruling in Ontario.

TWU is challenging the Ontario ruling decision at the Supreme Court of Canada.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Sewage fees going up 10% in Harrison Hot Springs

Residential homes will pay $22.50 more in 2019 to flush their toilets

Origami-inspired art lights up Chilliwack art gallery

Chilliwack textile sculpture artist Sylvie Roussel-Jannsens presents Whole, a solo exhibition

Missing Chilliwack man last seen on Island 22

Paul James Braumberger, 66, hasn’t been heard from since Jan. 11

AESS senior girls eyeing spot in basketball provincials

The team needs to move up one more ranking get a place in the championships

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

VIDEO: Harrison sailor looking for competitors to race model boats

Bernhard Van Velze is hoping to create a club for model sailboats at Harrison Lake

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Most Read