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N.S. barristers’ society can’t block Trinity Western grads: appeal court

Two men walk past a sign at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., on Monday August 24, 2015.
Two men walk past a sign at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., on Monday August 24, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society of a decision that allows graduates of a private Christian university to practice in the province.

Trinity Western University‘s plans to open a law school in Langley, B.C., has drawn criticism because students will be required to sign a so-called community covenant that forbids sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman.

READ MORE: B.C. Christian university loses appeal at Ontario’s top court

In April 2014, the Nova Scotia law society amended its regulations to say the requirement represents unlawful discrimination against gays and lesbians.

As a result, graduates of the law school would not be allowed to article or practise law in Nova Scotia.

In January, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge decided the law society exceeded its jurisdiction and said the move also amounted to an infringement on religious freedom.

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READ MORE: Appeal of ruling on law grads from Trinity Western begins in Halifax

Law societies in Ontario and B.C. have also opposed granting accreditation to Trinity law school graduates.