Bencher meeting consideration of TWU, April 11, 2014

Following an open and transparent process, which included a webcast of the Benchers meeting on April 11, the Benchers approved a proposed Faculty of Law at Trinity Western University. This means that graduates from that law school will be eligible to enter the Law Society’s admission program.

President Jan Lindsay, QC said: “The Benchers arrived at their decision through a process that has been open, thorough and fair – from the beginning, right through to the decision. It has involved consideration of legal advice from a number of advisors, review and consideration of the Federation reports and the proposal from TWU and the public submissions. It has occupied our attention for some time and the decision was thoroughly considered and not taken lightly.”

The webcast of the Benchers meeting and a video of President's Lindsay's statement to the media may be viewed at new.livestream.com/mediaco/lsbc041114.

Background
  • In December 2013, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada announced the Canadian Common Law Program Approval Committee had completed its work and gave preliminary approval of the proposed law school program at Trinity Western University. Shortly after, the BC Ministry of Advanced Education authorized the institution to grant law degrees.
  • On January 24, the Law Society invited the public and lawyers to make written submissions regarding the proposed law school. The deadline for submissions passed on March 3, at which point close to 300 letters were received for the Benchers to consider.
  • On February 28, a notice of the motion to be made at the April 11 Bencher meeting was provided to the Benchers. Law Society President Jan Lindsay, QC, made it clear that in giving notice of the motion, there was no intention to express any opinion as to its merits and that the notice was being given in order that the question might be properly considered by the Benchers. She said that the notice of motion also provides Trinity Western University and others with a clear indication that the Benchers will be considering the exercise of their discretion at the April 11 meeting.
Supporting documents

Transcript of the April 11 Benchers meeting
Transcript of President's Lindsay's statement
TWU correspondence
TWU submission to the Law Society
Consolidated Trinity Western University Act
Notice of motion
Public submissions
Legal opinions only
Legal opinions and other material
Memo to Benchers: Follow-up to enquiries from the February 28, 2014 Benchers meeting, March 31, 2014
Memo to Benchers: Follow-up to enquiries from the February 28, 2014 Benchers meeting, April 2, 2014
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s preliminary approval
The BC Ministry of Advanced Education: Statement on Trinity Western University's proposed law degree