Trinity Western University

2014 News

LSBC Benchers call for referendum on TWU School of Law

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The Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) decided today to hold a referendum on whether to implement the June 10 members’ resolution from a Special General Meeting that directed them to declare that TWU is not an approved faculty of law for the LSBC’s admissions program.

“We are disappointed with this decision,” said TWU Spokesperson Guy Saffold, Ed.D., “The Benchers originally approved TWU graduates based on constitutional principles and the rule of law. They have now decided that the matter should be determined by popular vote.”

Trinity Western University is a fully-accredited private university mandated by the Province of British Columbia to provide university education with an underlying philosophy and viewpoint that is Christian. “Enrolment at TWU is by law open to people of any race, color, creed, or sexual orientation,” said Saffold.

In line with TWU’s mission, the new law school is focused on developing leaders to serve those who are currently underserved and vulnerable—that means educating lawyers to work in rural communities, and the not-for-profit sector.

The Benchers decision to hold a referendum comes despite the independent legal opinion prepared for the LSBC, which put into question whether the member vote would have any relevance on the Benchers April 11th decision where they voted 20 to 7 in favour of TWU graduates.

The legal opinion states: “If a majority of the Benchers continue to believe that they came to a decision that is legally required and that their assessment of the law is correct, it could not make a legal difference that a large number of members of the Law Society may be of a different opinion.”

“The referendum cannot be binding on the benchers,” said TWU School of Law Executive Director Earl Phillips, LLB. “We agree with the legal opinion received by the Benchers and feel it is a waste of time and resources to go through this referendum process.”

“Lawyers and law students in Canada adhere to many faiths and no faith,” said Saffold. “We deeply respect that professional practice requires serving all clients with full integrity in their best interests.”

  • Last Updated on September 26th, 2014 at 1:03pm
  • Author: Jennifer Watton
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