Law panel to visit.
The proposed law school has prepared for review.
The BC Ministry of Advanced Education has appointed an expert review panel that is making a site visit to the campus of Trinity Western University on March 26. Dr. Janet Epp-Buckingham, TWU associate professor and Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre, is a passionate supporter of the proposed law school at TWU. Dr. Buckingham confirms the expected visit from the government:
“Five law professors will visit the campus for the day to report on the soundness of the program and adequacy of Trinity’s resources,” Dr. Buckingham says. After the visit, “the Degree Quality Assessment Board is next meeting in June and will review the report and make a recommendation to the Minister of Advanced Education as to whether the program should be approved.” There will be a provincial election between now and June, possibly slowing the approval process within the Ministry of Advanced Education.
The TWU School of Law has been a hotly debated topic, featuring media attention from across the nation. In the beginning of February, the Council of Canadian Law Deans distributed a letter criticizing Trinity Western University’s community covenant for its perceived intolerance of homosexuality.
Dr. Kevin Sawatsky, TWU Vice Provost and professor, affirms that “in order for the School of Law to move forward, approvals are needed from the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.” Dr. Sawatsky says that “the expert review panel visit is an important step in obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Advanced Education,” and he is “looking forward to our day with the review panel on March 26.”
The proposed law school is reported to have five main objectives:
“1. To infuse leadership and character development into its very core as a school. Students will be encouraged to see the profession of law as a high calling in the life of service.
2. To provide a place where the great questions of meaning, values and ethics are confronted, debated and pondered, and the broad and diverse communities of Canada are served through a richer understanding of the law.
3. To develop servant leaders who believe in and demonstrate a different concept of professionalism than the current marketplace promotes. Students will be encouraged to volunteer with local, national and global NGO’s that serve the under-developed nations and the vulnerable.
4. To build core competencies that are the bedrock of the legal profession. Beyond the academic and theoretical principles, the curriculum will integrate real-world practice skills, ethics, client relations, negotiation and advocacy.
5. To support scholarly research that will renew the foundational principles of jurisprudence, small business law, and charities law, as well as religious rights and freedoms in the Canadian and international context.”