Thompson Rivers University is two steps closer to opening the doors of the first new Faculty of Law in Canada in over thirty-five years.
A former Attorney General of Saskatchewan and current Dean of the University of Manitoba’s Law School, Chris Axworthy, will become the Founding Dean of Law at Thompson Rivers University beginning May 1, 2010.
“We are extremely pleased that TRU’s Founding Dean of Law has the credentials and experience of Chris Axworthy,” said Dr. Ulrich Scheck, TRU Provost and VP Academic. “We are not only excited about what he will contribute to TRU academically, but also about the expertise he will offer as we establish our Law Faculty in partnership with the University of Calgary.”
“It’s a rare opportunity to build a Law Faculty from the ground-up,” Axworthy told the group gathered in the CN Boardroom. “It is particularly attractive to do so in a vibrant community like Kamloops with such a forward looking and dynamic university as Thompson Rivers University with the support of the University of Calgary.”
Axworthy is a former Member of Parliament and Saskatchewan Member of the Legislative Assembly and justice minister, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2000.
The new Dean sees recruiting faculty members and staff and creating the necessary infrastructures for TRU’s Faculty of Law as his top challenges. He also looks forward to the opportunity to reach out to BC’s aboriginal community, noting that as a Law professor in Saskatchewan and Manitoba he always had a keen interest in the issues of aboriginal peoples.
In addition to Monday’s announcement of the appointment of Dean Axworthy, John Sparks, TRU Counsel and Secretary announced that the Faculty of Law curriculum license agreement with the University of Calgary has been finalized.
“This is an historic agreement and we are very proud to be part of it,” Sparks said. “Not only does it facilitate the establishment of our law faculty by licensing the curriculum of an existing first class law school, it does so across provincial boundaries in Canada. We think this is a great model for efficiently starting a new law faculty in a way that will serve our students and our communities.”
In his communication with TRU, Alastair Lucas, Dean of the U of C Faculty of Law said, “This invaluable partnership with Thompson Rivers University will allow us to bridge the gap by expanding the reach of our exceptional curriculum. Our focus on Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law is uniquely suited to academic priorities at TRU and we are excited to provide them with a program that focuses on practical legal skills instruction in the context of more theoretical legal principles.
The TRU Faculty of Law will build capacity for access to legal services in rural communities in the BC interior and Peace River region in BC and Alberta. The first TRU Law students will start the six-semester programme in September 2011, with the application process beginning in the fall of 2010.
For more details see Backgrounder
TRU General Counsel and Corporate Secretary,