Trinity Western University et al. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518

JudgeMacPherson, Cronk and Pardu, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ontario)
Case DateJune 29, 2016
JurisdictionOntario
Citations2016 ONCA 518;(2016), 349 O.A.C. 163 (CA)

Trinity Western Univ. v. LSUC (2016), 349 O.A.C. 163 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2016] O.A.C. TBEd. JN.034

Trinity Western University and Brayden Volkenant (applicants/appellants) v. Law Society of Upper Canada (respondent/respondent)

(C61116; 2016 ONCA 518)

Indexed As: Trinity Western University et al. v. Law Society of Upper Canada

Ontario Court of Appeal

MacPherson, Cronk and Pardu, JJ.A.

June 29, 2016.

Summary:

The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) Benchers voted to deny accreditation to a law school that Trinity Western University (TWU) proposed to create. TWU was an evangelical Christian university, that required its students to agree to the terms of a Community Covenant (i.e., a code of conduct that embodied evangelical Christian beliefs on human dignity and moral conduct). TWU applied for judicial review, seeking an order declaring that the LSUC's decision was unauthorized and otherwise invalid and approving TWU's application for accreditation. Among other things, TWU argued that the LSUC violated the right to freedom of religion (Charter, s. 2(a)).

The Ontario Divisional Court, in a decision reported 336 O.A.C. 265, dismissed the application for judicial review. The Divisional Court held that the decision had the effect of interfering with freedom of religion. However, the LSUC in the course of exercising its statutory authority, engaged in a proportionate balancing of the TWU's right to freedom of religion with the LSUC's members' and future members' right to equal opportunity, and arrived at a reasonable conclusion. TWU appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The LSUC's decision not to accredit TWU was a reasonable conclusion. The court, therefore, upheld the Divisional Court's decision.

Administrative Law - Topic 9102

Boards and tribunals - Judicial review - Standard of review - See paragraphs 60 to 71.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 345

Admission to practice or as student-at-law - Qualifications - Canadian law degrees - See paragraphs 72 to 146.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 492

Admission to practice or as student-at-law - Judicial review or appeals - Standard of review - See paragraphs 60 to 71.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 7651.1

Regulation - Powers of governing bodies - Respecting accreditation of law schools - See paragraphs 72 to 146.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 7656

Regulation - Powers of governing bodies - Judicial review of (incl. standard of review) - See paragraphs 60 to 71.

Civil Rights - Topic 385

Freedom of conscience and religion - Infringement of - Schools - Religious education (incl. codes of conduct) - See paragraphs 72 to 146.

Civil Rights - Topic 8467

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Interrelationship among Charter rights - See paragraphs 112 to 146.

Education - Topic 4125

Universities - Courses or programs - Approval of - Considerations - See paragraphs 72 to 146.

Counsel:

Robert W. Staley, Derek J. Bell and Ranjan K. Agarwal, for the appellants;

Guy J. Pratte, Nadia Effendi and Duncan Ault, for the respondent;

Gerald D. Chipeur, Q.C. and Grace Mackintosh, for the intervener, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada;

Daniel C. Santoro and Joshua Tong, for the intervener, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms;

Albertos Polizogopoulos, for the interveners, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and Christian Higher Education Canada;

André Marshall Schutten, for the intervener, the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada;

Derek B.M. Ross and John R. Sikkema, for the intervener, the Christian Legal Fellowship;

Marlys Edwardh, Frances Mahon and Paul Jonathan Saguil, for the interveners, Out on Bay Street and OUTlaws;

Arden Beddoes, for the intervener, the Canadian Secular Alliance;

Susan Ursel and David Grossman, for the intervener, the Canadian Bar Association;

Gavin Magrath, for the intervener, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada;

Alan L.W. D'Silva and Alexandra Urbanski, for the intervener, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association;

Chris Paliare and Joanna Radbord, for the intervener, the Advocates' Society;

John Norris, for the intervener, the Criminal Lawyers' Association (Ontario).

This appeal was heard on June 6 and 7, 2016, before MacPherson, Cronk and Pardu, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal. The following decision was delivered for the court by MacPherson, J.A., on June 29, 2016.

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22 practice notes
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Sixth Edition
    • June 22, 2017
    ...160 Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 ........................................................................................... 160 Trinity Western University v Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, 2016 NSCA 59 ..................................................
  • RENOVATING JUDICIAL REVIEW.
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    • University of New Brunswick Law Journal No. 68, January 2017
    • January 1, 2017
    ...and Immigration) v Huruglica, 2016 FCA 93, 396 DLR (4th) 527 [Huruglica], Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518, 131 OR (3d) 113 leave to appeal to SCC granted [2016] SCCA No 418; Intact Insurance Co v Allstate Insurance Co of Canada, 2016 ONCA 609, 131 OR ......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017
    • June 24, 2021
    ...BCCA 423, leave to appeal to SCC granted 2017 CanLII 8574 ............ 130 Trinity Western University v The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518, leave to appeal to SCC granted, 2017 CanLII 8575 (SCC) ..........................................................................................
  • Table of cases, index and about the authors
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Seventh Edition
    • June 30, 2021
    ...199 DLR (4th) 1...................................................... 168, 169 Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518............................................................................................ 169 Trinity Western University v Law Society of ......
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3 cases
  • Trinity Western University et al. v. Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, (2016) 376 N.S.R.(2d) 1 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • July 26, 2016
    ...s. 5(8)(b), and does not mention "accreditation" of institutions. [92] In Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada , 2016 ONCA 518, the Ontario Court of Appeal accepted that the accreditation system was authorized by the Law Society Act . Justice MacPherson for the Co......
  • Trinity Western University et al. v. Law Society of British Columbia, 2016 BCCA 423
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (British Columbia)
    • November 1, 2016
    ...said. They were not speaking in a vacuum. [46] On June 29, 2016 the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed TWU's appeal for reasons indexed at 2016 ONCA 518. MacPherson J.A., for the Court, held the Divisional Court had been correct in applying a reasonableness standard of review to the Law Soci......
  • Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 33
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • June 15, 2018
    ...APPEAL from a judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal (MacPherson, Cronk and Pardu JJ.A.), 2016 ONCA 518, 131 O.R. (3d) 113 , 349 O.A.C. 163 , 398 D.L.R. (4th) 489 , 359 C.R.R. (2d) 41 , 4 Admin. L.R. (6th) 73 , 35 C.C.E.L. (4th) 26 , [2016] O.J. No. 3472 (QL), 2016 CarswellOnt 104......
5 firm's commentaries
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    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 26, 2016
    ...v. Ranking, 2016 ONCA 492 (Blair, Pardu and Brown JJ.A.), June 21, 2016 5. Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 (MacPherson, Cronk and Pardu JJ.A.), June 29, 2016 1. Paton Estate v. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (Fallsview Casino Resort and O......
  • Ontario Court Of Appeal Upholds Law Society's Decision To Deny Accreditation To Trinity Western University
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    • July 2, 2016
    ...Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 In a unanimous decision, Justices MacPherson, Cronk and Pardu of the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the Law Society of Upper Canada's (the "Law Society" and "LSUC") decision to deny accreditation to Trinity Western University'......
  • Ontario Court Of Appeal Upholds Law Society's Decision To Deny Accreditation To Trinity Western University
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    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 15, 2016
    ...Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 In a unanimous decision, Justices MacPherson, Cronk and Pardu of the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the Law Society of Upper Canada's (the "Law Society" and "LSUC") decision to deny accreditation to Trinity Western University'......
  • Charter-ing A Different Course? Two Decisions On TWU's Proposed Law School
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    • Mondaq Canada
    • August 11, 2016
    ...guidance on how it may "properly" regulate in this area. Footnotes Trinity Western University v The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society v Trinity Western University, 2016 NSCA 59 ["NSCA"]. In Ontario, the LSUC decision was made by "Convocation"; in......
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12 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Sixth Edition
    • June 22, 2017
    ...160 Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 ........................................................................................... 160 Trinity Western University v Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, 2016 NSCA 59 ..................................................
  • RENOVATING JUDICIAL REVIEW.
    • Canada
    • University of New Brunswick Law Journal No. 68, January 2017
    • January 1, 2017
    ...and Immigration) v Huruglica, 2016 FCA 93, 396 DLR (4th) 527 [Huruglica], Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518, 131 OR (3d) 113 leave to appeal to SCC granted [2016] SCCA No 418; Intact Insurance Co v Allstate Insurance Co of Canada, 2016 ONCA 609, 131 OR ......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017
    • June 24, 2021
    ...BCCA 423, leave to appeal to SCC granted 2017 CanLII 8574 ............ 130 Trinity Western University v The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518, leave to appeal to SCC granted, 2017 CanLII 8575 (SCC) ..........................................................................................
  • Table of cases, index and about the authors
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Seventh Edition
    • June 30, 2021
    ...199 DLR (4th) 1...................................................... 168, 169 Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518............................................................................................ 169 Trinity Western University v Law Society of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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