11 December 2015

Good News From North of the Border: Trinity Western Law Grads Can Practice in BC

Over a dozen of my posts have comments or reflected on the efforts of Trinity Western University to add a degree in law to its curriculum. You can read a couple of them here and here. In brief, some provincial Canadian barristers believe that no graduate of a university that asks its students to sign a covenant committing themselves to limiting sexual intercourse to a state of marriage should be able to advocate for a client in their province. Just how such graduates would "contaminate" the provincial bar eludes me.

The Bar Council of British Columbia, the province where TWU is located, managed to vote to permit TWU grads to practice their profession before they voted against it. Faced with such duplicity, TWU appealed to British Columbia's Supreme Court which reversed the second decision and effectively will permit TWU law graduates to be admitted to the bar of British Columbia. You can read the reasoned opinion of Chief Justice Hinkson here.

While certainly a victory for TWU and freedom of religion, the opinion of the Chief Justice relies significantly on what American would understand as denial of procedural due process in the manner in which the membership of the BC Bar Council reached the second--disqualifying--decision. It remains to be seen whether the Bar Council will try again, this time permitting TWU an opportunity to present its case.

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