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  1. #1
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Law School Denied Accreditation

    A British Columbia law school has been denied accreditation by the provincial authorities. That's right, it's a sex thing.

    Refusal to accredit B.C. Christian university's law school upheld in Ontario - Daily Courier: National News

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    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    A British Columbia law school has been denied accreditation by the provincial authorities. That's right, it's a sex thing.

    Refusal to accredit B.C. Christian university's law school upheld in Ontario - Daily Courier: National News
    So two provincial courts ruled against the discriminatory policy and one ruled in their favor. I imagine a ruling from the Supreme Court will eventually settle this.

    I think it's an interesting debate. On the one hand, a school can be formed by a religious group. On the other hand, once you hang out that university sign you are making a statement that you are open to the general public.

    Personally, I think that if you are, say, a Rastafarian and want to open RastaU that's fine. And I think that no government should tell you how to teach your Rastafarian subjects. But when it comes to awarding degrees for regular aged professions you need to play by the same set of rules as the rest of the schools offering those programs. Don't like the rules? Don't offer the program. There's no reason a Christian can't attend a secular law school and if a law school focuses more on its Christianity than its teaching the law then it probably does a greater harm to the community overall.
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    Garp is offline Registered User
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    This school did not prohibit anyone from attending. They have an honor code that states (paraphrasing) sexual relations are between a man and woman within the marital state. When the whole controversy erupted they were public that the code is not policed and that they have gay students and alumni. That was problematic for a couple of the Provinces (one later lost in court). The thought or ideal that the school aspired to was deemed incorrect in relation the the ideals of the Provincial Bar (equivalent).

    Incidentally, several years ago the Province tried to deny the schools education grads from practicing as teachers . The University sued and won.
    Last edited by Garp; 08-02-2015 at 02:30 PM.

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    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    OK, let's try to apply that logic elsewhere, shall we.

    I hang up a sign that reads "No bears allowed."

    I'm sued for discriminating against bears and lose.

    Realizing this, I don't hang up a sign. Instead, I issue a written policy that, within my store, all patrons must walk on two legs at all times, may not be more than 83% covered in hair, must greatly dislike both honey and picnic baskets and furthermore, we believe that store patronage is biblically limited to non-bears.

    Guess what? Still discriminatory toward bears (if such a thing is illegal in your jurisdiction).

    Now, they may ultimately fail. And whether that is a good or bad thing is a matter for further discussion. But saying that they denied admission to no one (accurate since the school hasn't opened) but merely has a policy that would result in either denying admission to said persons or expelling said persons had they been granted admission is a splitting of hairs that warrants being highlighted.
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    Garp is offline Registered User
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    Actually, the school has been around since approximately 1962. While the Law School is new, the school is not.

    You are not quite following and your analogy is therefore not accurate. TWU does not disallow gay people from attending. As I noted, they have gay students and alumni. Their honor code states sexual activity is between a husband and wife (I.e. married and heterosexual). Straight students and gay students are expected to be celibate while attending. But as they noted, they are not policing the code. It expresses their ideal conduct.

    I might even guess that they don't have people who always live up to the code AND shockingly enough are probably well aware of that fact.
    Last edited by Garp; 08-02-2015 at 03:39 PM.

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    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garp View Post
    Actually, the school has been around since approximately 1962. While the Law School is new, the school is not.
    We aren't discussing the school that has been around since 1962. We are discussing the law school which is a separate entity and requires a separate approval to offer any meaningful credential to its graduates.

    You are not quite following and your analogy is therefore not accurate. TWU does not disallow gay people from attending. As I noted, they have gay students and alumni.
    Indeed, and the province hasn't said they aren't allowed to open the law school. They can proceed without this approval. But then their graduates won't be eligible for bar admission.

    So the province isn't saying that they can't have a law school just that their graduates can't be lawyers unless the school is truly open to all.

    It's really an institutional version of what the school is doing. No one is forcing anyone to do (or not do ) anything. They are just creating a set of consequences should you do something the other doesn't approve of.

    Their honor code states sexual activity is between a husband and wife (I.e. married and heterosexual). Straight students and gay students are expected to be celibate while attending. But as they noted, they are not policing the code. It expresses their ideal conduct.

    I might even guess that they don't have people who always live up to the code AND shockingly enough are probably well aware of that fact.
    Thing about codes like this is that "we aren't policing it" doesn't meant you have a free pass to do what you like. Sure, you could enroll and live your life according to your own conscience. However, the school would then have the right to dismiss you if you ran afoul of this program. So, there exists a possibility that a single student would be disciplined for failing to be celibate (regardless of sexuality) while literally every other member of the student body did the same. If the policy isn't uniformly applied then it becomes even more likely to be applied in a discriminatory fashion.
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    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garp View Post
    This school did not prohibit anyone from attending. They have an honor code that states (paraphrasing) sexual relations are between a man and woman within the marital state. When the whole controversy erupted they were public that the code is not policed and that they have gay students and alumni. That was problematic for a couple of the Provinces (one later lost in court). The thought or ideal that the school aspired to was deemed incorrect in relation the the ideals of the Provincial Bar (equivalent).

    Incidentally, several years ago the Province tried to deny the schools education grads from practicing as teachers. The University sued and won.
    This doesn't quite stand up.

    Discrimination takes two forms: by action and by outcome. These are known as discriminatory actions and disparate impact, respectively.

    Discriminatory actions are the ones with which we're most familiar. 'No Coloreds' signs in the South throughout the Jim Crow era were an example of that. Blatant, direct discrimination. Cut and dried.

    Disparate impact is a little harder. This is when the practice in question may or may be obviously discriminatory, but the resulting outcome creates a situation where people are excluded when they shouldn't be.

    Saying that sex is allowed only between a man and a woman is probably a discriminatory action. But if it is argued, essentially, that "Hey, you can be gay. Just don't have sex" and "it's not discriminatory because it applies to everyone," it still effectively discriminates against gays because it makes them less likely to be included.

    When homosexuality was considered taboo--a result of the Victorian era--this kind of thinking could prevail. After all, who wants to support perversion? But we now know better, that being gay is normal, natural, and not a 'choice.' Purposely going out of your way to exclude them is discriminatory. Sadly, it is legal in most of the states still. But that's changing, too. It will take the federal government to act to get the South to go along--as usual. But it will happen.

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    It raises interesting questions about the future of Christian Educational institutions in the US. We have generally had broader ideas about religious freedom than Canada. That may change. Years ago Focus on the Family noted they had to watch their Canadian broadcasts due to Canadian hate speech laws.

    We have Christian Universities with law schools, medical schools and other professional schools such as nursing and education . I suspect the court may be more and more involved in deciding where the right to religious freedom ends when it deviates from societal norms. I expect that will be where some of the new issues with gay marriage will go. The feds may say, you can hold to these traditional beliefs but no students loans or access to other federal funds and programs. Professional accreditors may begin to put pressure on them, etc. Basically, change your views or be isolated.
    Last edited by Garp; 08-02-2015 at 05:10 PM.

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    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Here is the link to the covenant that students are required to sign.

    https://twu.ca/studenthandbook/twu-c...-agreement.pdf

    Here's what the school had to say about the legal decision.

    http://www.twu.ca/academics/school-o...-ns-quotes.pdf
    Last edited by Kizmet; 08-02-2015 at 07:13 PM.

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    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    The case was heard this week. Apparently a decision is still pending.

    https://news.vice.com/article/a-chri...hool-in-canada

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    The school reported last month that it got a negative ruling from the Ontario court of Appeal. Though the court said that the university's religious rights were violated, but it still upheld a divisional court's decision to permit the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario to continue to refuse accreditation to TWU graduates.

    "The court correctly found an infringement of TWU's rights," Earl Phillips, the executive director of TWU's proposed School of Law, said after the Ontario verdict. "However, we are most disappointed that the court found the infringement to be justifiable. That finding is a serious limitation to freedom of conscience and religion under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

    The school will appeal the Ontario ruling in the Supreme Court of Canada.
    Well, this next round should put the issue to bed. If the school loses at the Supreme Court they might lose all of the gains they made.
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    There was a similar situation here in Massachusetts; there were 2 residential non-ABA (but RA) independent law schools in the state, the Southern New England School of Law, and the Massachusetts School of Law. Both tried multiple times for ABA accreditation, but came up short every time for one thing, or another.

    The Massachusetts School of Law got so frustrated, they believed there was a conspiracy against independent law schools (although there is an independent ABA-accredited law school in the state, the New England School of Law) between the ABA and the established law schools. They took it as far as as the US Court of Appeals, losing at every step.

    Massachusetts School of Law vs. American Bar Association

    The conspiracy theory may have some merit, because almost immediately after the Southern New England School of Law was purchased by UMass-Dartmouth and became the University of Massachusetts School of Law, it was granted provisional approval by the ABA. Same facilities, same faculty, same curriculum as SNESL.
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    My wife once dated a lawyer who went to MSL. He managed to get accepted into the NYS Bar which allows non-ABA grads as long as they didn't earn their JD via distance learning and they practiced in another state. Lost his job and apparently no firm would touch him, in part, because he went to MSL which seems to have insulted even the firms operated by Touro grads.

    I'd say it says more about ABA elitism more than the schools quality particularly since the guy went back to Mass, got a new job and drives a car that is worth more than my house (pretty good car somewhat mediocre house).

    Personally I like it when schools break through the ABA monopoly. I like it a little too much, actually.
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