The degrees of law school graduates at a Christian university in Canada will now be fully recognised in Nova Scotia after the university won a successful court appeal.
The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society had denied accreditation to students of Trinity Western University (TWU) over the university’s ‘community covenant’, which requires students to abstain from sexual intimacy outside of biblical marriage.
The decision to bar TWU graduates from practising law in Nova Scotia was overturned by the Canadian province’s Court of Appeal.
Amy Robertson, a spokeswoman for Trinity Western, welcomed the ruling: “Everyone, religious or not, should celebrate this decision, which amounts to a protection of our freedom and our identity.”
Responding to claims that TWU discriminated against LGBT people, she added: “We are not making a statement about LGBTQ people; we are making a statement about traditional Christian marriage, which is sacred to us.”
Trinity Western, which aims “to develop godly Christian leaders” through its “Christ-centred approach to education”, has faced opposition from other law societies in Canada.
In June, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Law Society of Upper Canada, meaning graduates of TWU would be unable to practise law in the Province of Ontario.
The university, hoping to overturn this verdict, expects the case to ultimately go before the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Law Society of British Columbia similarly refused to grant accreditation to TWU but this was overturned by a BC Supreme Court judge. This case is now in the BC Court of Appeal as the Law Society battles to overturn the decision.
Six other provincial law societies have already accredited the university.