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SCC shuts down accreditation of Trinity Western University law school

(Ottawa – June 15, 2018) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is welcoming the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) against Trinity Western University (TWU) in its bid for accreditation of its evangelical Christian law school.

TWU had applied for accreditation from the law societies in British Columbia and Ontario, both of which refused recognition to the school because of its requirement that students and faculty adhere to a religiously-based code of conduct prohibiting “sexual intimacy that violated the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” The cases wound their way up through appeals to the SCC, which ruled today that the twin rejections of TWU’s law school will stand.

CAUT intervened in the appeals and argued before the SCC that the school’s requirement that academic staff commit to a statement of faith as a condition of employment violates academic freedom, and inhibits the promotion and protection of diversity that must be expected in legal education at a Canadian law school.

“The majority of the Supreme Court accepted that there is a link between legal education and equality, diversity, and the competence of the legal profession,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “This case underlines that it is vital that faculty and students not be constrained by any dogma or proscribed doctrine in any form, as this is the basis for promoting and protecting academic freedom.”

The complex cases involved the apparent clash of freedom of religion and equality rights entrenched in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and have repeatedly been described as the most controversial in a generation.

To read our factum, click here.

 To read our Bulletin story about the appeals, click here.

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530