WATCH: The Advanced Education Minister has revoked his approval of Trinity Western’s Law School. Asa Rehman reports.
Trinity Western University’s proposed law school has hit another setback, as the provincial government has revoked its consent of the program.
“It is difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis for the Minister to have revoked his approval of the school of law program,” said TWU President Bob Kuhn in a release announcing the decision.
“As a private Christian University, Trinity Western has demonstrated its place in Canada’s academic community, delivering some of Canada’s highest ranked professional programs…We believe in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their beliefs and values.”
The reversal by Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk, who originally gave consent last year, comes six weeks after B.C. lawyers voted against accrediting the school by a 74-26 per cent margin.
“The current uncertainty over the status of the regulatory body approval means prospective graduates may not be able to be called to the bar, or practise law, in British Columbia,” said Virk in a statement.
“This is a significant change to the context in which I made my original decision.”
Lawyer brbara findlay commended Virk’s decision.
“It means that this government respects the quality rights of future lawyers, and that is overwhelmingly positive news.”
In addition, law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia have also ruled against approving the program.
At issue is TWU’s current covenant, which requires all students to abide by a covenant that forbids intimacy outside heterosexual marriage. Both LGBT and legal advocates have railed against the original decision to grant the university a law school, which was set to open in 2016.
Without government approval or legal accreditation, that goal now appears unlikely. However, Kuhn says TWU still plans to go ahead – even if it means an extended legal battle.
“We remain committed to having a School of Law…and now have to carefully consider all our options,” said Kuhn.
“There are such important rights and freedoms at stake that we may have no choice but to seek protection of them in court.”
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