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UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES - Admission standards - Constitutional issues

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 @ 8:33 AM  

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Appeal by Yashcheshen from the dismissal of her application for judicial review of the respondent’s decision refusing to consider her application to Law School without a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. The appellant argued that her Crohn’s Disease prevented her from having a fair opportunity to write the LSAT. The respondent’s admissions policy required all applicants to provide an LSAT score. On her judicial review application, the appellant argued that the respondent’s admissions policy violated the equality rights guaranteed by s. 15 of the Charter. The judge found that the Charter did not apply to the respondent’s admissions policy because it was not governmental in nature and because the admissions policy did not further a government program or policy. The Chambers judge also dismissed the appellant’s submission to the effect that the decision to deny her admission to Law School was invalid because the Dean was biased.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The Chambers judge correctly found that the Charter did not apply to the LSAT aspect of the admissions policy. The respondent University was not government by its nature. The University was an autonomous corporation and had the exclusive power to formulate and implement its standards for admission and graduation. The decision of the Chambers judge that the appellant’s concerns about bias were unreasonable and suspicious at best was unimpeachable. The Fee Waiver Act did not bar the Chambers Judge from making a costs award against the appellant.

Yashcheshen v. University of Saskatchewan, [2019] S.J. No. 271, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, R.G. Richards C.J.S., N.W. Caldwell and R. Leurer JJ.A., July 30, 2019. Digest No. TLD-September162019004