The Law Society of British Columbia voted on April 11 to uphold the approval of Trinity Western University’s (TWU) School of Law. This decision is good news for TWU, a private institution in British Columbia offering Canada’s first Christian law program, as well as for tolerance, diversity and freedom in Canadian society. The School of Law is expected to launch in 2016.
Law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia have since voted to reject TWU accreditation over the University’s Community Covenant, which bars students, among other things, from engaging in “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”. In Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada voted 28-21 to reject TWU accreditation. The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society narrowly voted to uphold accreditation on April 25, provided the University abolish its sexual intimacy policy or allow students to opt-out.
The JCCF has submitted “In Defence of the Free Society” to the Law Societies of B.C., Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, explaining why a free society must respect freedom of association and other individual rights. JCCF has been a vocal supporter of freedom of association, which allows private organizations to establish their own rules and policies, while allowing people the freedom not to join an association they disagree with. A free society does not require its citizens to agree, and does not bar those with differing views from associating with one another and voicing those views peacefully and openly.