British Columbians desperately need a unified family court. When members of the public require family law services they face stress and as a result of the split of responsibilities between the parallel court systems. They do not know where they need to go for matters related to divorce, custody, and property. The result is lots of people needlessly missing out on services to which they are entitled.
Years ago the Law Society identified a unified family court as a mechanism to assist in the access to justice crisis. A unified family court would consolidate the jurisdiction of all family law proceedings. Addressing the split jurisdiction issue would not only reduce confusion but also enhance family law service provision and improve the public’s overall experience. A great idea, right? So why has it not been implemented?
Despite the Law Society realising the benefit of a unified family court system, it still has not happened. With public confidence is at an all-time low, it’s time to make it a reality.
As a bencher I would fight to make a unified family court a priority and work with the law society to get government to make it happen.
The Law Society’s mandate includes bringing a voice to issues affecting the justice system and delivery of legal services. I would use this platform to help us take an important step in addressing a key access to justice issue in our province. More court locations, enhanced delivery of services and better access for families in remote areas. A simplified, streamlined family court would go a long way to ensuring important legal services reach the people who need them.
If I’m elected Bencher, I would work within the framework of the Law Society of BC to make addressing this issue a priority.