New Brunswick reviewing approval of B.C. Christian law school with antigay policy
The Law Society of New Brunswick announced that it will hold a special meeting to review its decision to approve the controversial proposed law school at Trinity Western University in the Fraser Valley.
The meeting, to be held on September 13 in Fredericton, N.B., was triggered after 229 members signed a petition to ask the society to reverse its decision, made in June, to accredit the school.
The Christian school in Langley, B.C., requires students to sign a covenant that prohibits all sex unless it is within a marriage between a man and a woman.
The New Brunswick law society motion states that "the Community Covenant Agreement thereby discriminates against members of the LGBTTQ community" and that "the accreditation of Trinity Western University, while it maintains and promotes the discriminatory policy reflected in its Community Covenant Agreement, would not be in the public interest or the interest of justice and would not serve to promote and improve the status of lawyers in society".
At a special general meeting in June, the Law Society of B.C. voted 3,210 to 968 against admitting the law school to the society. However, the resolution, in response to approval in April, is not binding.
The B.C. accreditation was granted in spite of a 26-page report in March 2013 that detailed serious concerns raised by five Canadian lawyers, hired by the provincial government, about issues including the proposed law school’s academic freedom, its world view, the teaching of legal skills, and the quality of courses.
Law societies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nunavut have granted the university accreditation. Ontario and Nova Scotia denied the school accreditation due to its convenant.