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Trinity Western University School of Law’s Approval Reversed
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Trinity Western University Protesters in Toronto

Summary: The Law Society of British Columbia has reversed accreditation of Trinity Western University School of Law, in part due to a covenant all students must sign.

According to CBC News, the Law Society of British Columbia has voted in favor of reversing the prior approval of Trinity Western University School of Law graduates. Roughly 8,000 of the society’s 13,530 members voted, and 74 percent of the vote was in favor of reversing the approval.

  
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The next step will be in the hands of the board of governors, who are also called benchers. It is predicted that the benchers will ratify the Law Society’s decision on Friday.

Trinity Western University spokesman Guy Saffold said, “The university is disappointed with this vote. Trinity Western believes in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their personal beliefs and values. A person’s ability to study and practice the law should not be restricted by their faith.”

Earlier this year, the Law Society implemented a non-binding vote that reversed the board of governors’ decision to accredit the new law school. Some time later, in June, members were to vote on a resolution that would declare that “the proposed law school at Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law for the purpose of the Law Society’s admission program.”

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The law school plans to open its doors in 2016. Those in opposition to the school’s accreditation are concerned because all students must sign a Christian covenant that mandates sexual relations must only occur between a married man and woman. Some feel that such a requirement excludes members of the LGBTQ community.



Do law schools have the right to require students to sign such a covenant?

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The Law Society of Upper Canada, located in Ontario, voted against the law school’s approval. The Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society has granted acceptance on a conditional basis, so long as the school changes the required covenant, or allows students the opportunity to opt out. The law school is currently challenging these decisions in court.

Photo credit: blogs.theprovince.com



 

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