Volume 93, Issue 37

Thursday, November 4, 1999


Students charged for opt-out

Martin talks money

Biotech receives $20 million fund

Wearing two hats worries teaching association

LSAT's day in court postponed

U of M tenured prof grieves his June dismissal



Caught on campus

LSAT's day in court postponed

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

A Toronto man's attempt to get Ontario law schools to throw out the Law School Admissions Test will have to wait until the new year.

On Oct. 13, Selwyn Pieters, a 32 year-old University of Toronto graduate, filed for a court injunction against province-wide law schools on the grounds the LSAT discriminates against African-Americans. Pieters said his case was originally scheduled to appear before the courts tomorrow, but was postponed since the complexity of the case required more time for both sides to get organized, especially since sensitive documentation will be presented to the courts.

If successful, Pieters' injunction request would prevent law schools from using the standardized test until the Ontario Human Rights Commission could rule whether or not the LSAT is discriminatory.

His complaint with the OHRC was filed in May of 1998, after Pieters was denied acceptance to the U of T law school, he said.

"Because of the complaint, of the issues involved, an adjournment for January 2000 does appear necessary because it is complex and the issues are broad and widespread. The parties need to be given more time to conduct a thorough investigation so the court can have a proper case before it," he said.

Rose Skraban, acting registrar for the Divisional Superior Court of Justice, confirmed the court date had been adjourned. She said a new date had not yet been set, but would most likely be scheduled for some time in the new year. "I gather the lawyers didn't have enough time to gather materials," she said.

Pieters, who is African-American, explained the Ontario Human Rights Commission has moved into the investigation phase of its inquiry into whether the LSAT was systematically discriminating against African-American applicants.

He added a motion asking for the injunction to be summarily dismissed put forth by the law schools named in the suit was not granted. "That was a moral victory on my part," Pieters said.

Francois Larsen, media spokesperson for the Ontario Human Rights Commission, said OHRC policy would not allow him to divulge information regarding Pieters' complaint.

Skraban said Pieters, who requested the adjournment, would have to contact the court to re-schedule a new date.

"That's a decision that was made with counsel," said Bonnie Croll, assistant dean of U of T's law school. She added she was aware the date had been postponed and the school would conduct further consultation with its lawyers before the case was argued in court.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999