Referendum Results Direct Benchers To Reverse Its Decision On TWU School Of Law
By Jennifer Watton. The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) announced today that its members voted by referendum against recognizing graduates of Trinity Western University’s School of Law.
“The University is disappointed with this vote”, said Trinity Western University spokesperson Guy Saffold. “Trinity Western believes in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their personal beliefs and values. A person’s ability to study and practise the law should not be restricted by their faith.
The referendum process is unprecedented, and the result has no effect without a resolution of the Benchers declaring that the TWU School of Law is not an approved faculty of law. “The Benchers still have the opportunity to do the right thing, and we are encouraging them to think very carefully before passing any resolution against TWU” said Saffold.
The issue concerns Trinity Western’s requirement that students observe a set of Christian behavioural standards, including one that recognizes the traditional Christian belief that sexual activity should only occur within a traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Despite the fact gay and lesbian students attend and graduate from the University, critics claim the University’s “Community Covenant” is discriminatory towards gay and lesbian students and that therefore, the University’s law school graduates should not be licensed to practise law.
Founded in 1962, TWU has been a part of higher education in British Columbia for over 52 years. TWU has six professional schools, including business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies and arts, media and culture. The School of Law will be its seventh.
Trinity Western University is a Christian University of the arts, sciences, and professions. Recognized for quality, TWU is consistently ranked among the top two universities in Canada for Educational Experience by the National Survey of Student Engagement; holds four Canada Research Chairs; wins National Championships in CIS sports; and emphasizes experiential learning to prepare graduates to make a global impact. TWU offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 17 graduate degrees, and adult degree-completion programs. A vibrant community committed to educating the whole person, TWU has been developing leaders of character and competence for 52 years.
Editor’s note: From the lawsociety.bc.ca website
Referendum results – BC Lawyers say TWU should not be an approved school of law In a referendum conducted in October, a total of 5,951 BC lawyers (74%) voted in favour and 2,088 (26%) against a resolution declaring that the proposed law school at Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law for the purpose of the Law Society’s admission program. Thirteen thousand, five hundred and thirty practising, non-practising and retired lawyers were entitled to vote. The referendum was conducted by mail-in ballot, and required one-third of BC’s lawyers to participate and two-thirds to vote in favour in order to pass. For more information on the referendum, read the notice to the profession. The outcome of the referendum will be discussed at a Bencher meeting on October 31. – See more at: http://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/page.cfm?cid=3912&t=Trinity-Western-University%3A-proposed-law-school#sthash.jnsqnmdc.cMzLN6eS.dpuf