Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Canada's First Religious Law School Clears Major Approval Hurdle

In Canada, Trinity Western University, a Christian liberal arts university in British Columbia, cleared a major hurdle this week in its bid to open the country's first private religious law school.  In a December 16 press release, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada announced that it has granted preliminary approval for the school's program. As reported by The Tyee yesterday, the Council of Canadian Law Deans had expressed concern over the school’s mandatory Community Covenant agreement for students, faculty, and staff. (See prior posting.) The Covenant calls for abstention from alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman." The Deans objected that the Covenant may lead to illegal discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Federation of Law Societies is considering adding a non-discrimination requirement for all law schools. The proposed new law school now must still obtain approval from British Columbia's Ministry of Advanced Education.