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Canadian university sets sights on faith-based law school

The legal community is concerned for the future of Canada's unbiased lawyer base should the school's accreditation pass

A community in British Columbia is experiencing some legal troubles, but not in any courtroom. Trinity Western University is attempting to accredit a law program that it is aiming to integrate into its anti-gay ideology. The Christian university is located in Fraser Valley and requires all students to sign and comply with a written agreement upon entrance to the university that acknowledges marriage as an act between a man and a woman, and also forbids the engagement of "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage" in such regard.  

Aside from the obvious concerns of those in the community who are in support of gay rights, the legal community is equally as concerned for the preservation of unbiased practice. Does a faith-based law school that actively discredits same-sex marriage mean that students who attend the school will graduate with discriminatory biases against the LGBT community? Many think so; many law students in other schools have written in protest to the Federation of Law Societies.

Canada's legal system supports gay marriage, so another basic question is one that surrounds any potential legal worker to graduate from a school that forbids what Canada supports. While there is no way yet to tell what kind of effect that would have on the legal system, Trinity Western University also has what looks like a fair argument: The school seeks to uphold its right to maintain religious freedom in every part of Canadian society.

Whether that participation includes sending lawyers into the field is one still waiting to be tried. Reports indicate that the next step is for the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation, and Technology to review the submission for accreditation by TWU.

 

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Contributing Author

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Juliana Kenny

Juliana Kenny is a contributor to InsideCounsel.com, covering a range of topics including patent litigation, conflict mineral laws, executive compensation, and antitrust regulation. Juliana earned B.A.s...

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