New Brunswick

Law society council re-voting on Trinity Western decision

The council of the Law Society of New Brunswick will vote in January on its decision to accredit the law program at the controversial Trinity Western University in British Columbia.

Members oppose recognizing controversial Christian university

Trinity Western University requires all students and staff to sign a covenant that prohibits same-sex relationships. (Trinity Western University)

The council of the Law Society of New Brunswick will vote in January on its decision to accredit the law program at the controversial Trinity Western University in British Columbia. 

In June, the council voted to accredit the program. But in September, members of the law society passed a resolution directing the council not to accredit it

The Christian school requires all students and staff to sign a covenant that prohibits same-sex relationships.

Marc Richard, the executive director of the society, says the law society's executive committee will vote again on the issue. 

"Our council members have a role and obligation to listen to everything that was said and documents that were filed. They have the obligation to read all the material before they make their decision," he said. 

The Law Society of B.C. also revisited its decision to accredit the Trinity program and it then reversed its decision. 

Trinity plans to file litigation against the B.C. law society.

Earl Phillips, the executive director of the Trinity law school, said it's watching the New Brunswick situation. 
     
"If council reverses decision, we may have to commence litigation in New Brunswick as well," he said. 

The law society will vote again on Jan. 9. 

Trinity threatens legal action

To date, bar associations in Alberta and Saskatchewan have approved accreditation — although Saskatchewan has put its decision on hold, as has Manitoba.

Law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia voted against accreditation, which caused the school to challenge those decisions in the courts in both provinces.

Separate judicial reviews will be held in December in the Ontario Superior Court and in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The school's accreditation as a teaching institution by the B.C. government is also the subject of a lawsuit by a group of lawyers in the school's home province.

The law school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

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