The majority of the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the decisions of the Law Society of British Columbia and the Law Society of Upper Canada to not accredit a law school at Trinity Western University that requires its students and faculty to adhere to a religiously based code of conduct.
“In our view, the decision made by the LSBC ‘gives effect, as fully as possible to the Charter protections at stake given the particular statutory mandate’ (Loyola, at para. 39). Therefore, the decision amounted to a proportionate balancing and was reasonable,” wrote justices Abella, Moldaver, Karakatsanis, Wagner and Gascon in their joint reasons in Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University. In the companion decision of Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, the majority of the court confirmed that the LSUC decision not to accredit TWU was also reasonable.
In strongly worded dissent, however, Justices Côté and Brown found that both law societies should have approved the accreditation of TWU’s law school.