Trinity Western University: proposed law school

Updated: May 30, 2016

 

  Latest news

Appeal heard in BC Court of Appeal

June 3, 2016: The Law Society’s appeal of the Supreme Court of BC decision was heard in the BC Court of Appeal from June 1 to 3, 2016. 

 

  Background


Law Society files factum

February 4, 2016: The Law Society filed an Appellant's Factum in the BC Court of Appeal  – click here to download the factum.

Law Society appeals TWU decision

January 5, 2016: The Law Society has filed an appeal of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in TWU v. Law Society of British Columbia.

The Law Society is appealing on the grounds the Court erred in deciding the procedure followed by the Benchers was inappropriate, and erred in finding TWU was not afforded procedural fairness. The Law Society takes the position that it properly made the right decision in October 2014 concerning TWU and will seek to restore that decision.

The Law Society’s news release can be found here.

BC Supreme Court issues TWU v. Law Society of BC decision

December 10, 2015: BC Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson has issued his decision in Trinity Western University (TWU) v. Law Society of BC. TWU had sought a judicial review of the Law Society's October 2014 decision not to approve its proposed law school for the purpose of the Law Society's admission program.

In ruling in favour of TWU, Chief Justice Hinkson concluded that the Law Society inappropriately fettered its discretion and, as a result, the Chief Justice quashed the October decision and restored the April 2014 decision.

The Law Society's news release can be found here

TWU v. Law Society of BC concludes

August 26, 2015: The Trinity Western University petition against the Law Society was heard before Chief Justice Hinkson in BC Supreme Court beginning on August 24 and ending the afternoon of August 26. TWU and four of its interveners – the Attorney General of Canada, the Association for Reformed Political Action of Canada, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms – were heard first, followed by the Law Society and one of its interveners, West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. The Chief Justice reserved his decision. The Law Society’s media release can be found here.

Law Society files written argument

August 5, 2015: The Law Society filed its written argument in TWU and Brayden Volkenant v. The Law Society of BC.
Read the Written Argument – Law Society of British Columbia.

TWU files written argument 

July 20, 2015: TWU filed its written argument in TWU and Brayden Volkenant v. The Law Society of BC.
Read the Written Argument – TWU and Volkenant (large PDF: 10 MB).

TWU intervener applications

May 14, 2015: Chief Justice Hinkson heard applications from several organizations seeking standing as interveners in the Petition. While noting the importance of having a wide range of views on the issues as well as his concerns about the potential for duplication, Chief Justice Hinkson granted the following organizations intervener status:

Canadian Council of Christian Charities;
Christian Legal Fellowship;
Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms;
Outlaws UBC, Outlaws UVic, Outlaws TRU, QMUNITY (“LGBTQ Coalition”);
Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada;
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and Christian Higher Education Canada;
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, Catholic Civil Rights League and Faith and Freedom Alliance;
Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Canada; and
West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund.

See all the applications here.

Date set for TWU hearing

April 28, 2015: At a judicial management conference a date was set for the hearing of TWU’s petition against the Law Society. The hearing before Chief Justice Hinkson will take place in BC Supreme Court commencing August 24 for five days. The Law Society has also filed an Amended Response.

Law Society files response to TWU petition

January 16, 2015: the Law Society filed its response to Trinity Western University’s petition seeking a judicial review of the Society’s decision not to approve its proposed law school. Read the response and CEO Timothy McGee, QC’s affidavit (large PDF: 18 MB), referred to in the response.

TWU files petition for judicial review

December 18, 2014: Trinity Western University commenced proceedings seeking a judicial review of the Law Society's decision not to approve its proposed law school. The Law Society will be defending its decision and will respond to the petition within the time provided under the rules of court. The petition can be viewed here.

Ministry revokes approval

December 11, 2014: Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk issued a statement outlining his decision to revoke approval for TWU's proposed law school. Read the minister's statement

Bencher meeting decision – TWU law school not approved for Law Society’s admission program

October 31, 2014: the Benchers decided not to approve a proposed law school at Trinity Western University for the purpose of the Law Society’s admission program.

This decision comes after careful consideration of the outcome of a referendum of BC lawyers conducted in October, together with the many other factors related to this issue.

The Law Society's news release can be found here.

Referendum results – BC lawyers say TWU should not be an approved school of law

October 2014: A total of 5,951 BC lawyers (74%) voted in favour and 2,088 (26%) against a resolution declaring that the proposed law school at Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law for the purpose of the Law Society's admission program. Thirteen thousand, five hundred and thirty practising, non-practising and retired lawyers were entitled to vote.

The referendum was conducted by mail-in ballot, and required one-third of BC’s lawyers to participate and two-thirds to vote in favour in order to pass.

For more information on the referendum, read the notice to the profession.

The outcome of the referendum was discussed at the October 31, 2014 Benchers meeting.

Benchers to conduct referendum

September 26, 2014: the Benchers passed a motion that directs the Law Society to conduct a referendum of BC lawyers regarding the proposed law school at Trinity Western University. The motion will allow for all members of the Society to vote on the resolution adopted at the special general meeting this past June, in which the Benchers were directed to declare that the proposed law school at TWU is not an approved faculty of law for the purpose of the Law Society’s admission program.

The motion further states that the resolution will be binding and will be implemented by the Benchers if at least one third of all members in good standing of the Society vote in the referendum, and two thirds of those participating vote in favour of the resolution.

Read the notices of motion put forward at the meeting.
The webcast of the meeting is available at http://new.livestream.com/mediaco/lsbc09262014.

The Law Society's news release can be found here.

July Benchers meeting

July 11, 2014: A legal opinion addressing certain issues arising from the special general meeting was discussed at the July 11, 2014 Benchers meeting. See the opinion here.

Members pass resolution

June 10, 2014: Members of the Law Society passed a resolution at a special general meeting directing the Benchers to declare that the proposed law school at Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law for the purposes of the Law Society’s admission program.

The Law Society's news release can be found here.

More information, including an audio recording of the special general meeting, is available here.

Benchers approve proposed faculty of law

April 11, 2014: The Benchers approved the proposed faculty of law at Trinity Western University, following an open and transparent process that included a webcast of the meeting. This meant that graduates from that law school would be eligible to enter the Law Society’s admission program. 

The Law Society's news release can be found here.

A transcript of the April 11, 2014 Bencher discussion and decision is available here.
The webcast of the meeting is available here.
The opinions that were before the Benchers for consideration at the meeting are available here.
Transcript of President Jan Lindsay's statement



BC actions
TWU v. Law Society

Appellant's Factum (February 4, 2016)
Respondents' Factum (March 4, 2016)
Respondents’ Reply Factum (May 9, 2016)
Appellant's Reply Factum (May 10, 2016)

Reasons for Judgment (December 10, 2015)

Petition – TWU
Affidavit – Timothy McGee (18 MB)
Affidavit – Tracy Tso (18 MB)

Notice of Application – Law Society
Application Response – Minister of Advanced Education
Application Response – TWU and Volkenant
Reply to Application Responses – Law Society 
Reasons for Judgment (March 18, 2015) 
Amended Response to the Petition (April 29, 2015)
Written Argument – TWU and Volkenant (July 20, 2015)
Written Argument – Law Society of British Columbia (August 5, 2015)
Reply Argument – TWU and Volkenant (August 17, 2015)

Loke v. Minister of Advanced Education and TWU

Amended petition Loke
Case plan proposal
Response – TWU
Response – Minister

Notice of Application – Law Society
Reply to Application Responses – Law Society
Reasons for Judgment (March 18, 2015)


Actions in other jurisdictions

Nova Scotia
Ontario


Legal opinions

Legal opinions only
Legal opinions and other material
Memo to Benchers – follow-up to enquiries from February 2014 Benchers meeting (March 31, 2014)
Memo to Benchers – follow-up to enquiries from February 2014 Benchers meeting (April 2, 2014)


Submissions to Law Society

TWU submission with supporting affidavits (October 30, 2014)
TWU submission (September 16, 2014)
Public submissions (received since March 4, 2014) 
TWU submission (April 3, 2014)
Public submissions (received prior to March 3, 2014)


Other documents

TWU petition to Law Society
TWU correspondence
Consolidated Trinity Western University Act
Notice of motion
Federation of Law Societies’ preliminary approval
Ministry of Advanced Education – statement on TWU's proposed law degree
Notice of special general meeting update
Notice of special general meeting