Law Society of B.C. files appeal in Trinity Western University decision

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The Law Society of B.C. says it will fight the decision made by the Supreme Court of British Columbia that sides with Trinity Western University’s (TWU) proposed law school.

An appeal has been filed by the Society to reverse the Court’s ruling allowing TWU to operate its law school. The decision was made in December 2015, which restored an April 2014 decision by the benchers that approved the law school and goes against the provincial government’s December 2014 decision that revoked its previous consent for the institution to operate a law degree program.

The benchers reversed their initial decision after a binding referendum in October 2014 when 74 per cent of members, approximately 6,000 of B.C.’s lawyers, voted against the institution’s law school.

“We respectfully maintain that it was proper for the Benchers to conclude that the voice of our members is important and that we should be guided by that voice on this issue,” reads a statement by Law Society President David Crossin, QC.

“The Law Society believes the interests of the public and our profession are best served by our appellate court addressing and resolving this fundamental constitutional issue.”

The proposed law school has been a subject of great controversy for years due to a covenant that students and staff must sign. It requires students, faculty and administrators to refrain from engaging in sexual intimacy that “violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Trinity Western University won its case in court on the basis that that Society’s infringes on its Charter right to freedom of religion while the Society is arguing a greater emphasis for the Charter rights of equality – for the LGBTQ community.

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