Law society vote to decide on TWU law school

The president of Trinity Western University will try to convince the B.C. Law Society to accept lawyers trained by the private Langley school.

On Tuesday, a special meeting of the Law Society is being held in an attempt to prevent TWU-trained lawyers from practising in British Columbia. That would reverse a 20-7 vote of the Law Society held earlier this year.

A challenge from a Victoria lawyer gathered enough support from B.C. lawyers to force the special meeting.

Bob Kuhn, the TWU president, will speak to the lawyers, who will be gathering at a number of sites around the province, including in Surrey and Abbotsford.

The debate on the resolution will start at 12:30 p.m. and voting will begin around B.C. no later than 5 p.m. Law society members will be allowed to speak for only a few minutes each.

At issue is whether TWU’s rules about gay students should render it incapable of graduating lawyers.

The private, Christian university has a covenant students are required to sign which bans a number of activities, including sexual intimacy which “violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

TWU plans to open its law school in 2016.

If one third of the membership of the law society vote, and two thirds vote in favour, the resolution will be binding and TWU-trained lawyers won’t be able to practice in this province.

Ontario and Nova Scotia’s law societies have already voted to not allow TWU lawyers to practise there, while most other provinces have approved them.

TWU is now waging a legal battle with both of those law societies, and with lawyers who are trying to overturn the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education’s decision to approve the school.

The last time the covenant came up as a legal issue was in the late 1990s, when TWU announced it would create a teacher training program.

The B.C. College of Teachers objected on similar grounds, and in 2001 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled eight to one in favour of the university.

That ruling came before Canadian laws changed to allow gay marriage.

Just Posted

Crime Briefs: Police seek suspects in thefts of perfume, groceries, blue jeans

Langley police are asking for the public’s help to identify suspects.

Langley curling couple bound for provincials in Creston

Craig and Karen Lepine are skipping their own teams in the upcoming BC masters curling competition.

Painful Truth: Season of ice, season of puddles

Waiting for good cycling weather is a long process in a cold winter.

Langley Hospice Society formalizes its opposition to medically assisted dying directive

The local hospice board wanted to hold a discussion before making a public statement.

Museum showcases the changing face of Langley

From forests to farms to acreages to suburbia, a new show will capture Langley’s changes.

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

Coroner says no foul play suspected in death of 79-year-old Stanley Okumoto

Most Read