The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) has initiated a project about access to family justice. After a review of the literature and informal discussions with various individuals and organizations, the LCO released a Consultation Paper in September 2009. The Consultation Paper identified a number of issues and asked specific questions regarding those issues. During fall 2009, the LCO conducted many telephone and in-person consultations. The consultation period ended on February 1, 2010 although additional consultation may be organized according to research needs. The LCO is currently compiling consultation results and this spring will produce a report on the results of consultations .

In addition, the LCO will fund research papers on two of the larger and more complicated issues set out in the Consultation Paper. The first funded paper will address specified issues relating to Interdisciplinarity and the Legal Profession and the second paper will deal with issues relating to the Cost Benefit Analysis of Family Service Delivery. Applicants can respond to one or both calls for papers.

A copy of the Consultation Paper and other documents related to the project can be found at: Completed research papers may also be posted on the LCO’s website, and will form part of the basis for the Family Justice Project’s Final Report.




The LCO has identified two research papers to inform its work on this project. The LCO has specific questions which those papers must address and it invites proposals that respond to the specific issues set out below. The selected researcher in each project should also address any issues not identified that he or she considers of significant relevance to the topic of the research paper.


1. Interdisciplinarity and the Legal Profession

This paper must address the following issues:

(i) To what extent do Ontario lawyers’ rules of professional conduct allow for or prevent the development of an interdisciplinary family service delivery model?
(ii) Have other jurisdictions in Canada or elsewhere implemented interdisciplinary family service delivery models? If so, describe these models and their regulatory frameworks and provide a brief assessment of their effectiveness.
(iii) What are the necessary conditions for Ontario family law lawyers to collaborate effectively with other professionals or workers? Relevant other fields include social work, psychology, psychiatry, family medicine, education, parenting coordination, mediation, policing, the media, accounting and financial advising.
(iv) What have been concerns historically with the promotion of more contact between law and other disciplines? Have there been any particular concerns relating to interdisciplinarity and family law?

The chosen researcher will be specialized in law and/or other relevant disciplines.


  2. Cost Benefit Analysis of Family Service Delivery

This paper must address the following issues:

(i) What are the societal and economic costs of a lack of response to dysfunctional families?
(ii) What are the economic benefits of effective family dispute resolution, including better responses to the diversity of family models and family members’ identities in Ontario?
(iii) What are the costs and benefits of policy building around family units as opposed to individuals?
(iv) What are Ontarians’ perceptions of the costs and benefits of various family models? To what extent do economic considerations influence the way Ontarians organize their family relationships?
(v) What methodologies have researchers in Canada and elsewhere used to evaluate the cost of various family dispute resolution mechanisms (courts, ADR services, collaborative law, etc.)?

The chosen researcher will be specialized in economics, poverty studies, gender studies, law or other relevant disciplines.



Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the degree to which they:
1. Further the objectives of this Call for Papers;
2. Demonstrate professional qualifications and expertise in the area to be studied; and
3. Demonstrate a sound analytic framework and research methodology.

Format of Proposals

Research proposals submitted to the LCO must contain the following materials:
1. A statement outlining the proposed research, how the research would support the objectives of this Project as outlined in this Call for Proposals, and the scope and type of work envisioned.
2. A work plan that outlines:
• the proposed research methodology;
• the steps required to complete the assignment, together with estimated timelines;
• an estimate of the resources required to complete the assignment.
3. A cover letter detailing the applicant’s qualifications, and the reasons why the applicant is interested in undertaking this research.
4. A curriculum vitae for each principal researcher.

Incomplete proposals may not be considered.

Proposal Deadlines

Research proposals must be submitted by midnight on Wednesday, March 17, 2010. Proposals received after this date may not be considered. Authors of successful proposals will be notified by Friday, March 26, 2010.

Contact Information

Your proposal should be forwarded to:

Julie Lassonde, Research Lawyer
Law Commission of Ontario, 276 York Lanes, York University
4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3

(416) 650-8418


Questions should be addressed to Julie Lassonde, Research Lawyer at or (416) 650-8232 or Toll Free: 1 (866) 950-8406



The terms of the call for paper will be as follows:

Budget Guideline

The selected applicant of the Interdisciplinarity and the Legal Profession paper will receive a total $15,000.00 (including GST) for the paper when completed in accordance with the agreement as determined by the LCO.  The selected applicant for the Cost Benefit Analysis of Family Service Delivery paper will receive a total of $15,000.00 (including GST) for the paper when it is completed in accordance with the agreement as determined by the LCO.


Deliverables and Timetable

Applicants who are successful in contracting to provide a research paper set out above will be required to complete a Detailed Outline, an Interim Final Research Paper and a Final Research Paper (the “Deliverables”). The Interim Final Paper must be a substantially complete version of the Final Research Paper and subject only to slight revisions. The Interim Final Paper must be formatted and footnoted in accordance with the LCO’s formatting policy. The Interim Final Research Paper and the Final Research Paper must assess and analyze all of the issues described in Part I – “Papers to be Funded”.
A selected applicant must provide the LCO with the Deliverables in accordance with the agreement by these dates:

April 13, 2010 Detailed Outline $1,500.00
May 25, 2010 Interim Final Research Paper $7,500.00
June 22, 2010 Final Research Paper  $6,000.00

Compliance with the above due dates is of critical importance to the LCO. In the event that a due date is not met, the LCO may choose to terminate the agreement. Where the agreement is terminated, the LCO is not obligated to provide payment for any Deliverable that has not been provided to the LCO at the time of termination.



Contract researchers are expected to assign copyright to the LCO, but will retain moral rights to their work. Contract researchers will be given credit for their work when the LCO publishes materials resulting from their work in any format. Contract researchers may write separate materials, such as articles, arising out of their research for the LCO, with acknowledgement that the work was originally carried out for the LCO. Applicants are encouraged to review the LCO’s Policy on Copyright & Attribution available on the LCO web