In 2012, the Federation’s Canadian Common Law Program Approval Committee received an application for a new law school from Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. The Approval Committee granted preliminary approval, identifying three concerns and making one comment on aspects of the proposed program that it will monitor in subsequent reviews. The concerns that will be monitored by the Approval Committee relate to TWU’s teaching of legal ethics and public law, as well as the budget for the proposed law school.
TWU’s application for approval of its law school program generated much controversy, most of it related to the Community Covenant Agreement. The Federation received many letters and emails both opposing and supporting approval of the program. Many of the issues raised in response to TWU’s application fell outside the mandate of the Approval Committee, which is limited to determining whether a proposed program will meet the National Requirement. The Council of the Federation recognized the importance of addressing these issues and established a special advisory committee of respected leaders of the legal profession to examine them.
The Special Advisory Committee on Trinity Western University’s Proposed School of Law (“Special Advisory Committee”) concluded in its report that there is no public interest reason to exclude future graduates of the program from law society bar admission programs as long as the program meets the National Requirement. Submissions sent to the Federation in response to Trinity Western University’s law school proposal are available here.