This is the proposed design for the Trinity Western University law school.

This is the proposed design for the Trinity Western University law school.

Trinity law school appeal underway

Law Society was wrong to reverse approval, university lawyer argues

The Law Society of B.C. has no right to judge Trinity Western University for banning sex outside heterosexual marriage among students and staff, a lawyer for the university argued in BC Supreme Court.

TWU lawyer Kevin Boonstra argued the Law Society acted outside of its jurisdiction, telling Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson the society only has the power to decide whether graduates from a proposed TWU Law school meet the necessary academic qualifications, not the religious beliefs of the private Langley university as expressed in the TWU “community covenant.”

The university wants the court to order the society to approve the school.

The law society initially agreed to accredit the school in April 2014, then changed its mind. The decision provoked a wave of opposition by outraged lawyers who said the covenant on marriage was anti-gay.

Before the Vancouver hearing opened, the university issued a statement saying “at stake is more than just the right of TWU graduates to practise law, but whether people of faith are to be restricted in their right to associate in community and to fully participate in Canadian society.”

The hearing is expected to take all week.

Whatever the decision is, it will likely be appealed to a higher court.

TWU lost a similar lawsuit against the Ontario law society, which is being appealed by the university.

The university won against the Nova Scotia law society, which is appealing.

The hearing is expected to take all week.

Langley Times