(Ottawa— 29 June, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has filed a motion before the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in two appeals involving Trinity Western University (TWU).
The appeals spring from cases originating in Ontario and British Columbia between the university and those provinces’ law societies, both of which have rejected TWU’s attempts to gain recognition for its Christian law school. The British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the Law Society of British Columbia, while the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld denial of accreditation by the Law Society of Upper Canada. The appeals are expected to be heard together at the end of November this year.
An Ad hoc inquiry conducted by CAUT in 2009 concluded that parts of the university’s policy allowed for “unwarranted and unacceptable constraints on academic freedom,” and recommended that TWU be placed on a list of institutions “found to have imposed a requirement of a commitment to a particular ideology or statement as a condition of employment.”
“Universities violate academic freedom when they require academic staff to commit to a particular ideology or statement of faith as a condition of employment, and it’s on this basis that CAUT is interested in joining the cases,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson.
TWU has filed an objection to CAUT intervention while CAUT’s response states that allowing it “will provide a fresh and useful perspective” in the hearing of both appeals.
Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
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