Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trinity Western v. LSUC: Interveners

Trinity Western is, unsurprisingly, seeking judicial review of the Law Society of Upper Canada's decision not to accredit their law school - a decision with the result that Trinity Western law grads would not be eligible to practice in Ontario.  I previously explained why Trinity Western shouldn't have a law school, and then explained my view on the consequences of LSUC having rejected them.

LSUC is not the only one to reject them.  Other Law Societies that hold their own votes in such matters have, as well - New Brunswick rejected them, and Nova Scotia granted only a 'conditional acceptance' if they don't make their law students agree to their 'community covenant'.  Which is as good as a rejection.  The BC Law Society, after initially voting to accredit them, reviewed the decision, held a binding referendum, and voted down Trinity Western.

TWU's been known to litigate this sort of thing in the past, so nobody's surprised that they're litigating.

First order of business:  Who gets to participate?  In this kind of public interest litigation, lots of folks pop up on both sides wanting to support their cause.

In TWU's corner, we have:
  • The Canadian Council of Christian Charities
  • The Christian Legal Fellowship
  • Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
  • The Association for Reformed Political Action Canada
  • The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
  • Christian Higher Education Canada
  • Catholic Civil Rights League
  • Faith and Freedom Alliance
  • Gerard P. Charette
In LSUC's corner, we have:
  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers
  • Criminal Lawyers' Association
  • Out On Bay Street
  • OUTLaws
  • The Advocates' Society
(It's not 100% clear on the face of the decision which group CALL falls into, but I'm drawing some reasonable inferences here.)

Notice the themes?  Aside from the "Justice Centre for Constitutional Reforms", all the other pro-TWU interveners are religiously affiliated.  (Mr. Charette, the only individual seeking leave to intervene, is a lawyer and a deacon.)  All those on LSUC's side are lawyer associations.

Justice Nordheimer had to decide who gets to participate, and who gets sidelined.  There's no bright-line way of doing this, and he acknowledged that all the parties bring something to the litigation, but there's a lot of overlap between their respective positions and perspectives.

Ultimately, intervener status was granted to Christian Legal Fellowship, jointly to the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Christian Higher Education Canada, and to the Judicial Centre for Constitutional Freedoms...and on the other side of the coin, jointly to Out On Bay Street and OUTLaws, to the Advocates' Society, and to the Criminal Lawyers Association.


This blog is not intended to and does not provide legal advice to any person in respect of any particular legal issue, and does not create a solicitor-client relationship with any readers, but rather provides general legal information. If you have a legal issue or possible legal issue, contact a lawyer.

The author is a lawyer practicing in Newmarket, primarily in the areas of labour and employment law and civil litigation. If you need legal assistance, please contact him for information on available services and billing.

No comments:

Post a Comment