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BREAKING NEWS | Supreme Court of Canada Rules in Favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses

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http://www.trurodaily.com/news/regional/jehovahs-witness-cannot-appeal-expulsion-to-a-judge-supreme-court-214505/#.WxAuxt9sIiA.facebook

 

Good news. Had he simply accepted his wrongdoing, repented, and remained humble, it would have never went this far. On a positive note, the issue of us determining our membership is settled.

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It would be a sad thing if secular courts were allowed to review congregation judicial matters. Worldly viewpoints would be in opposition to bible viewpoints.

How much better it is for an individual who has been disfellowshipped to make whatever adjustments in their life so they can be restored to the congregation and Jehovah.

Sadly many resort to being bitter or resentful.

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"He admitted to two episodes of drunkenness and, on one of those occasions, verbally abusing his wife — wrongdoing he attributed to family stress over the earlier expulsion of his 15-year old daughter from the congregation."

Glad about the verdict :)

But sad about this family. There may have even been more to this former brother's judicial situation than was reported. And for his 15yr old daughter to have already been disfellowshipped indicates that likely there were severe problems in that family. :(

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12 minutes ago, Foxes53 said:

It would be a sad thing if secular courts were allowed to review congregation judicial matters. Worldly viewpoints would be in opposition to bible viewpoints.

How much better it is for an individual who has been disfellowshipped to make whatever adjustments in their life so they can be restored to the congregation and Jehovah.

Sadly many resort to being bitter or resentful.

Wall's apostasy was on full display. He even publicly blamed the congregation for his verbal abuse and drunkenness. 

 

If courts are allowed to review judicial matters, then that means that they are allowed to determine the rules. That's an overt violation of separation of church and State. Like the article said, there was no violation of rights here. Wall's association with the congregation was voluntary, not contractual.

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In a 9-0 decision Thursday, the high court said the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has no jurisdiction to review the congregation's decision to shun Randy Wall over alleged drunkenness and verbal abuse.

 

"In the end, religious groups are free to determine their own membership and rules," Justice Malcolm Rowe wrote in the decision, adding that courts will not intervene in such matters unless it is necessary to resolve an underlying legal dispute.

 

Religious and civil liberties organizations took an active interest in the case, given questions about the degree to which the courts can scrutinize decisions by faith-based bodies.

 

Finally, the decision said, it is not appropriate for the courts to make decisions about religious tenets.

 

Nice   :thumbsup:

 

 

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Ok, thanks. :)

 

I created this topic because the link on jw.org takes you directly to the Supreme Court's website as a reference (which is a bit more comprehensive) as oppose to an online media source.  Very interesting read there.

 

Edited by Omoyeme

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18 minutes ago, Your Brother said:

Well good to see another judicial decision in Jehovah's favor.

 

But it's a shame for our ex brother. Would be nice if he could now see his mistakes. 

Just read my post. Not a shame in the since he lost, but in the since he has lost his way.

Edited by Your Brother

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So basically a disfellowshipped one appealed this because he thought it was not fair? 
Right... Jehovah has already set his ''judges''. Jehovah is fair, they are fair.


 

[6]                              Randy Wall became a member of the Congregation in 1980. He remained a member of the Congregation until he was disfellowshipped by the Judicial Committee.
 

[7]                              Mr. Wall unsuccessfully appealed the Judicial Committee’s decision to elders of neighbouring congregations (Appeal Committee) and to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada. After the Congregation was informed that the disfellowship was confirmed, Mr. Wall filed an originating application for judicial review pursuant to Rule 3.15 of the Alberta Rules of Court, Alta. Reg. 124/2010, seeking an order of certiorari quashing and declaring void the Judicial Committee’s decision. In his application, Mr. Wall claimed that the Judicial Committee breached the principles of natural justice and the duty of fairness, and that the decision to disfellowship him affected his work as a realtor as his Jehovah’s Witness clients declined to work with him.

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It seems to me the main thing he was worried about was losing money. He was a realtor and most of his clients were witnesses. Hmm... he may need to start advertising to the rest if the world as he is now part of it. 

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3 hours ago, Kristian said:

So basically a disfellowshipped one appealed this because he thought it was not fair? 
Right... Jehovah has already set his ''judges''. Jehovah is fair, they are fair.


 

[6]                              Randy Wall became a member of the Congregation in 1980. He remained a member of the Congregation until he was disfellowshipped by the Judicial Committee.
 

[7]                              Mr. Wall unsuccessfully appealed the Judicial Committee’s decision to elders of neighbouring congregations (Appeal Committee) and to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada. After the Congregation was informed that the disfellowship was confirmed, Mr. Wall filed an originating application for judicial review pursuant to Rule 3.15 of the Alberta Rules of Court, Alta. Reg. 124/2010, seeking an order of certiorari quashing and declaring void the Judicial Committee’s decision. In his application, Mr. Wall claimed that the Judicial Committee breached the principles of natural justice and the duty of fairness, and that the decision to disfellowship him affected his work as a realtor as his Jehovah’s Witness clients declined to work with him.

 

Why do apostates ALWAYS resort to these subjective, and emotional arguments when they have been justly disfellowshipped? What is "natural justice" other than some catch-all phrase that can be interpreted based on who you ask? How was his case not handled fairly when his appeal was granted and heard?

 

This is precisely why issues like this are taken to court, because Courts of laws deal only with hard facts and law, not emotional and subjective reasoning.

 

 

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One of the reasonings the court said which led to the Supreme court appeal being upheld:

 

"Courts may only interfere to address procedural fairness concerns related to the decisions of religious groups or other voluntary associations if legal rights are at stake and the claim is founded on a valid cause of action, for example, contract, tort or restitution. Jurisdiction cannot be established on the sole basis that there is an alleged breach of natural justice or that the complainant has exhausted the organization’s internal processes. It is not enough that a matter be of importance in some abstract sense. W has no cause of action. No basis has been shown that W and the Congregation intended to create legal relations. No contractual right exists. The Congregation does not have a written constitution, by-laws or rules to be enforced."

 

The court was perfectly right in saying there is no legal basis - there is no contract in law between us and the congregation.  The law is written in our hearts.  Their last point rightly sets out that religion is separate to state as far as internal jurisdiction goes:

 

"the courts will consider only those issues that are justiciable. The ecclesiastical issues raised by W are not justiciable. Justiciability relates to whether the subject matter of a dispute is appropriate for a court to decide. There is no single set of rules delineating the scope of justiciability. The court should ask whether it has the institutional capacity and legitimacy to adjudicate the matter. Even the procedural rules of a particular religious group may involve the interpretation of religious doctrine, such as in this case. The courts have neither legitimacy nor institutional capacity to deal with contentious matters of religious doctrine."

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I was interested to read about all the "interveners".  I'm curious whether these organizations, some religious, chose to interfere in someone's case or were invited by Mr. Wall. The calendar shows that the court allowed extra time for one of the groups to file a statement.

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13 hours ago, hatcheckgirl said:

The courts have neither legitimacy nor institutional capacity to deal with contentious matters of religious doctrine."

 

 

Indeed I noted the following 

 

By way of example, the courts may not have the legitimacy to assist in resolving a dispute about the greatest hockey player of all time, about a bridge player who is left out of his regular weekly game night, or about a cousin who thinks she should have been invited to a wedding

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5 hours ago, Californiamama said:

I was interested to read about all the "interveners".  I'm curious whether these organizations, some religious, chose to interfere in someone's case or were invited by Mr. Wall. The calendar shows that the court allowed extra time for one of the groups to file a statement.

It is not unusual for an intervener to request to be heard by the court 

"In law, intervention is a procedure to allow a nonparty, called intervenor (also spelled intervener) to join ongoing litigation, either as a matter of right or at the discretion of the court, without the permission of the original litigants. The basic rationale for intervention is that a judgment in a particular case may affect the rights of nonparties, who ideally should have the right to be heard. "

Our organization has appeared as a "friend f the court" (in US courts the term applied is Amicus Curiae) on specific cases where the decision of the court could have bearing on the functions of our organization. In one such case, the evangelist Jimmie Swaggart was being prosecuted for claiming the commercial side of his ministry was receiving large cash 'donations' to purchase Swaggarts music and sermon LP albums, in the form of a designated high price. Since our organization had set the modern groundwork for requesting a fixed contribution "These latest issues of the WT and Awake can be yours for a contribution of just 10 cents," a practice that had stood up in lower courts over many years, it had a direct bearing on how we carry on our work. In the Swaggart case, the court found Swaggart guilty of tax evasion, a decision that put our asking a fixed contribution at the door into legal jeopardy.

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wow the fact that someone was trying undermine such a fundamental religious liberty for their own selfish reasons makes me so mad. I know, I need to trust in Jehovah, and he always makes things turn out so that his will can be done. But it still makes me mad how people are so selfish they want to take freedom away from everyone else just so they can get what they want. Can you imagine if the congregation had to pay everyone who got disfellowshipped a settlement? That would cripple the progress of the organization. No sense of responsiblity for his actions at all. Also, having a friend who recently got disfellowshipped, from my experience, I can imagine there were likely people who tried to help him and reach out to him and plead with him. I can imagine what an immense slap in their faces it must have been when he not only went to court, but blamed the congregation for everything that went wrong in his life.

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I checked various threads and didn’t see it mentioned, but did anyone view the Supreme Court video? An excellent witness was provided.

Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v. Randy Wall Supreme Court of Canada video

 

First 53 minutes: Co-counsel for Highwood Congregation, David M. Gnam (of W. Glen How and Associates! Talk about memories!)

 

Followed by short presentations by non-party Lawyers (interveners) representing the following:

Canadian Council of Christian Charities,

Association for Reformed Political Action Canada,

Canadian Constitution Foundation,

Evangelical Fellowship of Canada,

Catholic Civil Rights League,

Christian Legal Fellowship,

World Sikh Organization of Canada,

Seventh‑day Adventist Church in Canada,

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms,

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints in Canada,

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and

Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association

 

About 1:45: Co-counsel for Wall, Michael Feder.

Feder, although very capable in his presentation, delivered on the flawed premise that religious organizations need some legal oversight to guarantee that they play “fair.” A lot of what Feder spoke about was hypothetical and didn’t even relate to the actual case with Wall. I like that Feder was a good sport and acknowledged the difficulty of his premise. Like a good professional, he came up and shook Gnam’s hand at the end of the case.

 

2:47: The last 15 minute summary by Gnam was brilliant.

 

In the end, it was clear that private or non-public organizations are free to set their own rules without worrying about intrusion by judicial courts, so long as civil rights and property rights are not violated. 

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JWTalk 18.9.15 by Robert Angle (changelog)