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John Carpay

The lawyer for an anti-abortion group at the University of Calgary says it's absurd that a university in this day and age is trying to censor free speech.

John Carpay was reacting after a Court of Queen's Bench judge ruled in favour of the group in an ongoing battle over graphic displays on campus.

The university found seven students guilty of non-academic misconduct in 2010.

But when the students tried to appeal, the board of governors refused to hold a hearing.

The judge is ordering the board to hear the appeal.

University officials say their lawyers are reviewing the decision and says much has changed on campus since this case.

"The University of Calgary is committed to fostering an environment of free inquiry, open debate and diversity of opinions. The university supports students sharing their views about subjects — including those that are controversial — in a safe and respectful manner," said in an email sent Monday to The Canadian Press.

"This recent ruling refers to an event that happened several years ago — much has changed on the university's campus since then. The university has worked with Campus Pro-Life, a Student Union club, to find a reasonable approach for the club to present its Genocide Awareness Project on campus."

The battle goes back as far as 2008 when the university demanded the group turn its graphic anti-abortion displays inward so passing students wouldn't have to look at them.

The matter has dragged on for so long many of the students involved have already graduated.

Some of the displays compared abortion to atrocities such as the Holocaust.