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TWU Weighs Options after Canada Supreme Court Ruling
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Trinity Western

Summary: With the Supreme Court of Canada ruling against the Christian university’s plan for a law school because of a lifestyle rule, the school is considering its options.

After losing their lawsuit against some of Canada’s law societies, Trinity Western University officials are mulling over what to do next. The Christian law school does not want to give up on their plan to open a law school at the Langley, B.C. campus, according to the North Delta Reporter.

  
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Executive director Earl Phillips of the university’s law school plan said, “We’re certainly looking at possible ways of moving forward.” He noted that a thorough analysis of the ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada, which was in favor of Ontario and B.C.’s law societies will need to be done.

The case came about when the law societies stated they would not license any graduate from Trinity’s potential law school because the private school has a “community covenant” forbidding sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and woman. The law societies viewed this as discrimination against LGBTQ students, banning them from attending the law school.

The majority of justices wrote, “Limiting access to membership in the legal profession on the basis of personal characteristics, unrelated to merit, is inherently inimical to the integrity of the legal profession.”

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Two justices ruled against TWU but for different reasons from the majority and one justice dissented. As Phillips explained, “It’s a very complex and long decision.”

Phillips also notes that the university understands that the “community covenant” is the primary issue so they will have to consider what else they can do. A version of the covenant has been a part of the university since it was founded in the 1960s. “It has been a feature, but it has been reviewed, and I’m sure it will be reviewed in the future,” Phillips added.



TWU had planned on opening the law school in 2015 but the legal battles have delayed that from happening. Had the school been able to open, their first graduates would have been finishing the three-year program with law degrees.

Even without a law school, the university is continuing to grow. They recently rezoned one portion of the campus in order to build new dormitories.

Do you think private law schools should be able to keep religious standards? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the case, read these articles:

Photo: prnewswire.com



 

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