The Supreme Court decision in the Christian university case has left some experts scratching their heads. (Albert Couillard-CBC)

Analysis of Supreme Court decision against a Christian university

Share
Civil rights lawyer “it’s an anti-diversity decision”

A private evangelical university wanted to open a law school.  Trinity Western University (TWU) in British Columbia however has a covenant on behaviour  which includes such things as no cheating, no alcohol on campus, no obscene language, etc, and no sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

No-one has questioned the educational quality of the university, but the governing law societies in British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia said the no sex, heterosexual marriage aspect of the covenant discriminates against LGBT members and therefore they wouldn’t admit graduates to the bar in their respective provinces

SCC decision more political than legal

TWU took the case to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCoC) which apparently had to decide between competing aspects of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

John Carpay (LLB) is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF). He says the SCC decision seems more politically based than founded on legal arguments.

Listen

In the case, the law societies said they would not allow graduates of the proposed law school to practice in their provinces. They said this was because the proposed school discriminates against the LGBT community, and they are bound to promote diversity.

John Carpay (LLB) is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Rights. He feels the SCC decision was more of a political decision than a legally-based one

The university argued that it is a private university, and should be able to make rules within their institution

Thay also said they have a right to create a certain type of space to is comfortable for their students, a Christian environment. They also argued that law societies don’t have a right to impose their personnel belief system on the TWU students and school.

Although TWU initially won in provincial courts in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, they lost in Ontario, from where the case went to the Supreme Court.

That majority decision is so political you’d think it was written by a political party with these vague slogans- J Carpay LLB

The ruling was five judges for the law societies, two judges concurring but with modified arguments, and two dissenting judges.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-2-2 in favour of the law societies and against the evangelical Trinity Western University (SCoC)

Generally the SCC said the university covenant discriminates against a particular group and that negative effect overrides the Charter right of freedom of religion. The SCC also said that the law societies have a role to play in regulating the profession and promoting justice and diversity in the profession.

There was also the issue of  access to the justice system which the court said is dependent on all members of society fully participating in the legal system.

Having read the judgements, Carpay says the SCC majority decision reads more like a political statement, while the two dissenting opinions actually refer to legal arguments.

He feels it is a blow against a free society.

Share
Categories: Politics, Society
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

2 comments on “Analysis of Supreme Court decision against a Christian university
  1. Avatar B Robinson says:

    Sounds like the decision has contradictions and should be appealed so as to allow diversity and freedom of societies to create their own rules of conduct. More work needs to be done to protect our freedoms.

  2. Avatar Peter Ashcroft says:

    LGBT members have a personal sexual relationship which should not impinge on supposedly gender neutral legislation and decisions.
    The SCC seems to have slipped up on their overall decision.