B.C. top court rules in favour of Trinity Western in fight over law school

Latest ruling says law grads will be able to practice in B.C.

  • Nov. 1, 2016 8:00 p.m.

By Katya Slepian

The B.C. Court of Appeal has ruled that Trinity Western University’s law school graduates will be allowed to practice law in B.C., despite a community covenant that restricts sexual intimacy to heterosexual marriages.

The Christian university in Langley and the Law Society of B.C. have been locked in a legal battle since the law society decided not to recognize TWU’s law school in October 2014.

The decision was then reversed by a lower court in late December, spurring an appeal from the society in January 2015.

In their Tuesday decided, the judges said the society’s move not to recognize the grads “would limit the engaged rights of freedom of religion in a significantly disproportionate way.”

The judgement also noted that allowing the law school to go ahead would be “insignificant in real terms.”

Similar legal battles over the covenant are playing out in Ontario and Nova Scotia, with the Ontario case headed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The university’s law school is set to open in September 2018.

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