News Release: JCCF defends freedom of association in Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada

Posted on Jun 1, 2015 in Justice Update, Latest Updates, News Releases

         JCCF defends freedom of association in Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada


· JCCF in Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Toronto) on June 2
· JCCF obtains intervener status in Trinity Western University v. Law Society of British Columbia, to be heard August 25, 2015
· JCCF seeks to intervene in Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in Trinity Western University v. Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society


trinity-western-university

Trinity Western University (TWU) has asked for a judicial review of the decision of the Law Society of Upper Canada to ban graduates of TWU’s law school.

CALGARY: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) has been granted intervener status in three different court actions which will impact the freedom of all Canadians to create, join and maintain the voluntary associations of their own choosing.

The law societies of B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia have ruled against recognizing the law program of Trinity Western University (TWU), a private Evangelical Christian university in Langley, B.C.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has approved the law program of TWU as meeting academic and professional standards.  The three Law Societies admit there is nothing wrong with TWU’s law program, but claim that TWU’s Community Covenant discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community.  The Community Covenant prohibits numerous legal activities such as vulgar or obscene language, drunkenness, viewing pornography, gossip, and sexual activity outside of the marriage of one man and one woman.  TWU’s expectations discriminate against the majority of Canadians, for a myriad of reasons, all of which boil down to an unwillingness to practice an Evangelical Christian lifestyle.

On May 14, 2015, the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted JCCF leave to intervene in Trinity Western University v. Law Society of British Columbia, scheduled for August 25, 2015.

The JCCF also intervened at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, in Trinity Western University v. Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.  In January 2015, the Court ruled in favour of freedom of association and religion for TWU grads.  This ruling is being appealed by the Barristers Society, and the JCCF now seeks to intervene before the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to defend freedom of association for all Canadians.

In all three court actions, the JCCF argues for the Charter section 2(d) right to freedom of association, including the right of every charity, temple, church, ethnic and cultural association, sports club, and political group to establish its own rules and membership requirements.

“A court ruling against TWU’s freedom of association would undermine the freedom of association of every other group in Canada as well,” stated John Carpay, lawyer and president of the JCCF.

“Tolerance for unpopular groups, practices, and beliefs – not popular ones – is what separates the free society from the totalitarian state.  The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the view of the majority has no need of constitutional protection, because it is tolerated in any event,” continued Carpay.

“For a free society to remain free, its citizens must accept that other people can and do have radically different conceptions of reality, including unpopular ideas about sexuality.  A legal right to be free from hurt feelings, if it existed, would destroy freedom of expression as well as freedom of association,” added Carpay.

The JCCF will submit oral argument to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Thursday June 4th, at Courthouse #6-1, 361 University Avenue, Toronto.  The hearing is open to the public, and will run from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, with a break for lunch between 1:00 pm and 2:15 pm.

For more information please contact:

John Carpay, President, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
(403) 619-8014 or jcarpay@jccf.ca

Read Court Documents and Case Backgrounds