ARPA makes submission to the Law Society of Upper Canada



March 26, 2014

This morning, ARPA’s legal counsel sent a written submission to the policy secretariat at the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). You can read the submission attached to this article below.

The LSUC is the body that regulates and licenses all lawyers in the province of Ontario. They are considering whether or not to accredit Trinity Western University’s (TWU) School of Law despite the affirmation of other government bodies that have already approved the school. The problem is that there are some activist lawyers out there who think that a Christian who gets his or her legal education at a Christian law school cannot be a good lawyer because they “discriminate” due to the Christian view on marriage. (photo credit)

The sad thing is, the LSUC is asking and investigating this issue despite the conclusions of two professional legal opinions, the findings (after extensive investigation) of two government decision-making bodies, and the ruling of an 8-1 majority of the Supreme Court of Canada in a case barely a decade old with virtually the exact same fact scenario. By re-evaluating TWU, the LSUC demonstrates a bias amounting to a religious inquisition. There is no doubt in my mind that if this were about an orthodox Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Black, feminist, LGBTQ or any other private law school formed along associational lines, there would be no such “due diligence”. This double standard is evidence for not only why we should accredit TWU, but also why we need to accredit TWU.

The implications of the arguments against a Christian law school are huge: if Christians can’t set up their own law schools, then they shouldn’t be able to set up any professional schools (nursing, medicine, teachers’ colleges, etc.). And if Christians can’t set up professional schools (due to bigotry, etc.) then perhaps they shouldn’t be able to set up any schools. And if they can’t set up any schools (again, due to their “negative” impact on society because of their “hateful” views on issues such as marriage) then maybe Christians ought not to be allowed to engage in the public square at all.

This is why ARPA is concerned about this issue and has invested heavily in defending TWU’s ability to exist and develop. All of the schools, institutions and professionals within the Reformed community are at risk of marginalization here. We need to stand up, and we are standing up, for religious freedom. To read an indepth article about the TWU school of law and what’s at stake, click here. ARPA’s legal counsel also signed a letter together with 179 other Christian lawyers, law professors and judges in a submission to the Law Society of British Columbia and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (both of which are also re-evaluating TWU). 

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