My most recent post for this blog was almost two months ago–and that was basically a repost of something I’d written about two years ago. It was a busy summer for me. (We’re still in the house, and my mother is okay.) Also, I was devoting more of any free time I had for social media to Twitter. Twitter is a good medium for sharing basic information and opinions–and, often, having a good laugh. But what I have to say now is more complex, and sober, so I’m returning to my blog.
On Friday, the Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia essentially implemented a stalling tactic that will allow the Supreme Court of Canada to decide whether or not Trinity Western University should be allowed to operate its own law school. They voted in favour of the general membership of the BC Law Society voting on the issue, and the vote being binding, but with the vote being taken several months from now, when court proceedings initiated in Ontario and Nova Scotia will already be underway. The decision of the general membership will be contingent on what is decided by the courts.
I sincerely hope the Supreme Court of Canada will be able to look at the big picture on this issue, considering not just this single case but, rather, how the case fits into the present state of Canadian universities in general. Looking at the big picture, the Supreme Court should be asking not simply if Trinity Western University should be allowed to operate its own law school but whether Canadian law schools any longer belong in ANY of our universities, as these institutions are presently conceived. There are certain biases within our secular Canadian universities that make these institutions just as unpalatable for many Canadians today, including by no means only members of the religious right, as Trinity Western is for others. (I’ve discussed such biases elsewhere in this blog, including in my most recent post.)
Barring a complete revamp of our secular universities, I think the answer lies in legally and administratively severing the relationship of all Canadian law schools and all of our universities, but, for practical reasons, allowing Canadian law schools to operate on the grounds of our universities, including Trinity Western University, and to draw an appropriate amount of income from them. (As I’ve suggested elsewhere, income seems to be a key reason Trinity Western now wants its own law school.) Being associated with a university should not be seen as a requirement for a law school. Thus, we could see law schools sprouting up across Canada that are completely independent of any university, and that may, eventually, train more Canadian lawyers than any university-affiliated law school.
But whether any lawyers, including even members of the Canadian Supreme Court, who all received their legal educations in universities, and who may still be beholding to these institutions, are able to think in these broad terms, and to vote accordingly, remains to be seen.