B.C. Law Society votes to reverse accreditation of Trinity Western law school

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      British Columbia will become the third province to reject accreditation of a controversial, faith-based law school based in Langley.

      Law Society of B.C. members voted 5,951 for (74 percent) to 2,088 against (26 percent) reversing the society's previous approval of accrediting Trinity Western University's proposed law school. Almost 60 percent of the society's members (8,039 of the society's 13,530 members) voted.

      The law society's board of governors are expected ratify the decision on Friday (October 31).

      The Christian university's law school was originally accredited in B.C. on April 11. A non-binding vote was held by the B.C. law society in June in which members voted 3,210 to 968 to recommend that benchers reverse the accreditation.

      “The University is disappointed with this vote”, TWU spokesperson Guy Saffold stated in a news release. “Trinity Western believes in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their personal beliefs and values. A person’s ability to study and practise the law should not be restricted by their faith."

      The school has been the subject of debate because it requires all students to sign a covenant that bans all intimacy outside opposite-sex marriage.

      Criticism arose due to concerns of discrimination against same-sex relationships.

      Law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia voted against approval. The university is appealing those decisions in court. Like B.C., New Brunswick initially approved the school but its members triggered a non-binding vote on September 13 to reverse the accreditation.

      The private law school was scheduled to open in 2016. However, after the B.C. vote, university president Bob Kuhn told the CBC that he's now uncertain if it will open by that date as planned.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/StraightLGBT.




      Oct 31, 2014 at 2:02pm

      Lawyers violating the "fair play" they so often demand. Awesome display of emotions overruling logic. By the way, only 60% of eligible lawyers voted, so it wasn't truly 74% that supported the reversal, it was 74% of the 60% that bothered to vote. That knocks that "74%" number down considerably. Funny how those who used to be persecuted are now the ones stomping on the rights of others.


      Oct 31, 2014 at 3:45pm

      I'm not too sure how the graduates of this proposed law school will become awful lawyers because of a pledge. These 'Law Societies' will have to prove that. They can't really. In fact, they are proving that they have no clue what the Rule of Law means, let alone constitutional precedent, and the exceptions made in provincial human rights legislation.

      BC Lawyer

      Oct 31, 2014 at 4:10pm

      The majority (including myself) voted as they did not from emotion but because they hold the considered opinion that the law does not require, or even permit, our profession to abet discrimination in the form practiced at TWU. There's also an element of pride in our profession -- we don't want to be the only place in North America with a law school that discriminates among lawfully married people on grounds of sexual orientation (or gender, race, or any other protected ground, including religion). It's striking that the majority of the benchers bought into the flaccid liberal idea that a self-professed religious motive justifies discrimination. Fortunately most BC lawyers have higher powers of critical thinking than that. (And no, I'm not gay, nobody in my family is gay, and I hardly know any gay people.) Our elected benchers got this all quite wrong but the majority has effectively corrected them.

      @BC Lawyer

      Oct 31, 2014 at 4:39pm

      "abet discrimination in the form practiced at TWU"

      So what form of discrimination does the law require or even permit your profession to abet?

      One that comes to mind is discrimination based on financial well-being, seeing the usurious rates that lawyers charge.


      Oct 31, 2014 at 5:45pm

      This whole notion that discrimination is the reason that these Law Societies have disagreed with TWU is ignoring the fact that discrimination is allowable, in certain circumstances, constitutionally and in provincial human rights codes. Affirmative Action, a form of legal discrimination, is embedded in the Charter for Pete's sakes. I guess these law societies have taken no problem with that form of discrimination, yet have decided to impose their disdain for other forms of allowable discrimination.


      Oct 31, 2014 at 5:49pm

      Really? You're going to argue logic with a lawyer? In other news, the encroachment of cherished values of equality continue to countenance the mind-numbingly still-present urge to let religion trump sound policy. Thank "God."


      Nov 1, 2014 at 10:57am

      We are witnessing evolution in action at TWU. Let’s continue to herd all the less intelligent, easily confused and gullible into a compound and teach them to be even less successful and less able to cope with reality. This is the step in the evolutionary chain that weeds out the weak, in order for reason to survive and take on the worlds toughest challenges.

      Other than for religious teaching, no other educational discipline benefits from a Christian filter. Math and science, the law, and most other higher learning pursuits are routed in truth and progress through reason, whether we believe in it or not.

      Responsible Government

      Nov 2, 2014 at 12:41am

      I think we have an elected government in BC that approved TWU.
      So the question is why we have an unelected government with this much influence in British Columbia.

      It's sort of funny---with the rise of legal protection for homosexuals, women, all those good and historically disadvantage group, I've noticed another change in culture: the culture that says lawyers are morons and that anyone who believes in their schtick is seriously mentally ill also seems to have fallen by the wayside. I guess people will play politics with all sorts of things, but this is pretty skeevy, even by the standards of the types that normally collaborate with lawyers. The lawyers will collaborate with anyone, as long as they keep getting paid. And there's usually some group willing to accept lawyer-protection in exchange for keeping up the secret cult of lawyer-power.

      Lawyers are morons---this is evidence that they're morons who don't respect our democratic form of government.


      Nov 2, 2014 at 11:07am

      The "elected BC government" did not approve TWU, the Minister of Education (an appointed position) approved them. The Law Societies (which the elected governments have given the power to regulate legal profession and education) have chosen not to recognize a school that bans certain students from attending its school.

      @Responsible Government - the only moron on this board, it the one who doesnt understand the role of lawyers or what a democratic form of government means and does...


      Nov 2, 2014 at 1:04pm

      Why do the members of the legal profession get to decide who gets to be lawyers? That should be the role of government, not a bunch of privileged hacks who follow money into every cesspool on the face of the earth. Of course, these are the same leeches who think we should not be allowed to elect judges.