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Divisional Court dismisses TWU’s application against the Law Society

July 02, 2015

The Ontario Divisional Court has dismissed an application for judicial review brought by Trinity Western University, in which TWU sought an order forcing the Law Society of Upper Canada to accredit its proposed law school.

TWU is an evangelical Christian institution. It requires all students and staff to sign a “Community Covenant” in which they agree that the only healthy form of sexuality occurs within a marriage between a man and a woman. Breaching the Covenant can lead to sanctions, up to and including expulsion.

The Law Society determined that it was not in the public interest to accredit a law school with a discriminatory admissions policy. TWU brought an application for judicial review, alleging that the Law Society decision breached its religious rights.

The Divisional Court held that the Law Society was entitled to take into account the public interest in equal access to legal education, and concluded that the Law Society reasonably balanced TWU’s right to freedom of religion with the equality rights of future members of the Law Society.

You can read more about the decision here.

Practice Areas

Appeals & Judicial Review, Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law