25 January 2017 article regarding the Randy Wall Court Case:
The much-needed separation of church and state
HOWARD ANGLIN - The Globe abnd Mail
Howard Anglin is the executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to defending and promoting constitutional rights and freedoms. The CCF filed an affidavit in support of the Highwood Congregation’s application to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Is there any limit to the law’s reach in the Charter era? Does any sphere of private life or civil society remain beyond the sweep of our judiciary’s Sauron-like gaze? What began as a membership dispute in a suburban Calgary church has landed on the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada, and if the court chooses to hear the case (and it should), these questions could make it the most consequential legal decision of the year.
The case, in a nutshell: Randy Wall attended Calgary’s Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses until April, 2014, when he was expelled – “disfellowshipped,” in the church’s discordant term – for alleged drunkenness, verbal abuse of his wife and insufficient repentance. Having exhausted appeals within the church, Mr. Wall sought relief from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, claiming that his disfellowshipping was not consistent with the principles of fundamental justice. The church responded that Canadian courts have no jurisdiction to second-guess the membership decisions of a private religious body. By a 2-1 decision, a panel of the Alberta Court of Appeal disagreed.
Read the full 800-word article here: