ADVANCED Education Minister Amrik Virk on Thursday in a letter to Trinity Western University’s president outlined his decision to revoke approval for the university’s proposed school of law.
In a statement, he said: “Based on the current situation, I have decided to revoke my approval of the proposed law school at Trinity Western University. This means the university cannot enroll any students in its proposed program.
“The current uncertainty over the status of the regulatory body approval means prospective graduates may not be able to be called to the bar, or practise law, in British Columbia. This is a significant change to the context in which I made my original decision.
“Once the legal issues are resolved, TWU will have the option to renew its request for consent.”
TWU President Bob Kuhn said the university is disappointed with Virk’s decision.
“It is difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis for the minister to have revoked his approval of the school of law program. As a private Christian University, Trinity Western has demonstrated its place in Canada’s academic community, delivering some of Canada’s highest ranked professional programs. We believe in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their beliefs and values,” said Kuhn.
TWU noted that Virk consented to a law degree being offered at TWU in December 2013 after his ministry conducted an extensive review of the program. The minister has been under pressure to revoke his consent since October 31 when the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) reversed its earlier decision to recognize the TWU School of Law graduates.
“We remain committed to having a School of Law,” said Kuhn, “and now have to carefully consider all our options.” Although it is not TWU’s wish to engage in another legal battle, Kuhn said: “There are such important rights and freedoms at stake that we may have no choice but to seek protection of them in court.”