Aga v. Ethiopian Orthodox [2020-2021]

22 June 2020
The EFC was an intervener in a Supreme Court of Canada case about whether ecclesiastical decisions about membership and discipline are outside of the scope of judicial review. Hearings started Dec. 9, 2020 and a ruling was announced May 21, 2021. The EFC co-intervened with the Catholic Civil Rights League.

The EFC welcomed the ruling in a statement.

The May 2021 decision overruled an Ontario Court of Appeal decision released in January 2020 which would have permitted courts to judicially review a dispute between members of the church and their bishop on a theological and disciplinary decision. The EFC had made written submissions to the Appeal Court pointing out a previous Supreme Court ruling in the Wall case that declared courts will not “become the arbiter of religious dogma.” (The EFC intervened in that earlier Wall case at the Supreme Court as well.)

The official name of this case was Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada St. Mary Cathedral v Aga.