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Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada

Date of most recent action: 01 Dec 2017

Accreditation of Christian law school in Jeopardy


What’s at Stake:

The freedom of faith-based institutions to act consistently with their faith without fear of reprisals

Summary:

Trinity Western University’s (TWU) proposed law school was denied accreditation by the Law Society of Upper Canada. At issue was TWU’s ‘community covenant,’ which all students are required to sign. The document requires students, faculty, and staff to refrain from premarital sex and sex outside of marriage.

The Ontario Division Court dismissed TWU’s application for judicial review, deciding that the Law Society’s decision to not accredit the TWU’s proposed law school was reasonable.

TWU successfully appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal. Both the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia have issued rulings affirming TWU’s right to operate in accordance with its Christian beliefs and reversed TWU’s denial of accreditation.

However, the case involving the Law Society of Upper Canada was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which accepted the case.

If TWU does not prevail at the Supreme Court, the future of accreditation for Christian education in Canada is at risk. However, if TWU prevails, the free exercise of religion will have measurably expanded in Canada.

Our Role in the Case:

ADF International is supporting its allied lawyers intervening in the case.

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