Nova Scotia Barristers Society takes on Christian law school in Court of Appeal

Society says Trinity Western University’s covenant violates Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Act

Trinity Western University, courtesy of mapio.net

The Nova Scotia Barristers Society is taking on Trinity Western University at the Nova Scotia Court of Appeals today. The appeal comes after a ruling made last year by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, stating that graduates of the British Columbia Christian law school are permitted to practice law in Nova Scotia.

In a full courtroom packed with 19 lawyers from both Trinity Western University and the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, members argued over Trinity Western’s community covenant. The covenant states that students must “abstain from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man a woman.”

The Nova Scotia Barristers Society argued that the covenant violates the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act when it comes to sexual orientation.

“My lord, L.G.B.T students are not being given equal opportunity at the University.” said Marjorie Hickey, a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society.

Court of Appeals judge, Justice David Farrar, questioned the Nova Scotia Barristers Society on whether the covenant in the province of British Columbia would be able to stand lawfully in Nova Scotia.

“The covenant happened in B.C., not Nova Scotia. You’re saying if it happened in Nova Scotia it would be unlawful. You’re changing facts,” he said.

“How does the covenant have anything to do with whether an individual is qualified to practice law in Nova Scotia?”

In July of last year an Ontario court upheld a decision by the Ontario Law Society to refuse accreditation to Trinity Western University graduates who wish to practice law in the province.

The court broke for recess at 12:30 PM and will continue proceedings until Friday.

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