Trinity Western University becomes first private #lawschool in Canada

A proposed law school at a B.C. Christian university that critics accuse of being discriminatory against the LGBTQ community has cleared its final hurdle with approval by the province’s Ministry of Advanced Education.

Minister Amrik Virk announced his decision to green-light a law school at Trinity Western University in Langley on Wednesday, two days after the private faith-based university won preliminary approval from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Critics have argued that a covenant requiring all students, staff and faculty at the school abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman” violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Yes, it appears that Trinity Western does discriminate against Gay and Lesbian students. This issue will work itself out over time.

The far bigger news is most notable it its absence! Trinity Western has just received approval as the first private law school in Canada! This is huge, huge, huge!! Because the Government has monopolized the “law school market” in Canada, it has always been difficult to gain admission to a Canadian law school. In other words, the demand far spaces in Canadian law schools far exceeds the supply. It appears that the door is NOW open to private law schools seeking the approval of Federation of Law Societies. Regardless of the future of Trinity Western, it appears that private law schools are here to stay!

On the issue of discrimination against gay and lesbian students, see the following article written by a Dalhousie law professor.

The legal status of gays and lesbians in Canada has improved. Striking the appropriate balance between freedom of religion and equality for gays and lesbians today requires greater recognition of gays and lesbians than it did fifteen years ago. Freedom of religion would not trump these equality interests as easily as it did when the College of Teachers case was decided.

Last year, Trinity Western applied to the B.C. government and to the law societies across Canada for approval to open a new law school. Trinity Western still requires all of its faculty, staff and students to sign an agreement promising not to engage in “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” In support of this covenant Trinity Western cites biblical passages condemning homosexuality. Students who violate the covenant face disciplinary measures including expulsion.