"The retention of section 176 in the Criminal Code demonstrates Canada’s ongoing societal commitment to protect the fundamental freedoms of religious expression and association.”
"The right to autonomy of religious communities is a fundamental principle recognized in international law. Canada has agreed to uphold this principle in its international commitments. The present case demonstrates a need and presents an opportunity to expressly affirm religious autonomy in Canadian jurisprudence."
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed that government actors have a duty to specifically consider religious freedom concerns when raised by claimants in its Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia decision. This historic case – the first Indigenous religious freedom claim to be heard by the Supreme Court - raised questions about the scope of religious freedom, and the means by which religious communities can practise and manifest their faith. Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF) and The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) jointly intervened in the case.
"[C]itizens must be free to meet, worship, and collectively express themselves without fear of being silenced by reprisal or intimidation. Canada’s historical reality regarding the oppression of religious and other minority groups – some of which has been effectively prosecuted under section 176 – must not be forgotten. The Supreme Court of Canada’s recognition that section 176 protects the public interest remains a salient one. The inclusion of section 176 in the Criminal Code demonstrates Canada’s ongoing societal commitment to protect the fundamental freedoms of religious expression and association."
"This Council must consider the rights and interests of those who will be adversely affected by expanding EAS, including the broader societal impact and the implications of determining that certain lives are not worth living."
"The fundamental freedom of religious groups to determine their own membership, free of State interference, [is] necessary to protect the autonomy of believers, the proper functioning of religious institutions, and even democracy itself."
CLF files intervener factum in joint appeals of Law Society of British Columbia v Trinity Western University and Brayden Volkenant and Trinity Western University and Brayden Volkenant v Law Society of Upper Canada. CLF's oral arguments will be heard during the appeals (Nov 30-Dec 1).
Christian Legal Fellowship will make written and oral submissions as a friend of the court at the Supreme Court of Canada appeal of Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses et al v Randy Wall on November 2, 2017
The appeal for Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses et al v Randy Wall will be heard November 2.
The joint appeals of Law Society of British Columbia v Trinity Western University and Brayden Volkenant and Trinity Western University and Brayden Volkenant v Law Society of Upper Canada will be heard November 30 - December 1.
Do doctors have to change their religious belief and conscientious convictions upon the release of every Supreme Court decision? Do regulators have the ability to mandate - with statutory authority and punitive powers - that change in belief? Or in the face of a refusal to change, can regulators oblige doctors to practice against the very core of their ethical and moral standards?
Can the state force children to participate in classroom activities that violate their religious
beliefs so that other students will not be discomforted by their absence?
“So three lawyers, a Catholic, an Evangelical, and a Mormon are sitting in a lounge over lunch when…” sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s exactly what happened at the University of Alberta as students, faculty, and local practitioners gathered to discuss the role of religion in the legal profession.