TORONTO, January 5, 2010 –The Law Commission of Ontario welcomes the Ontario government’s intention to bring much-needed reforms to the family law system this year. On December 17, 2009, the Attorney General, the Honourable Chris Bentley, identified “four pillars” on which family law reform will develop: increased information, improved access to legal advice and a broader range of dispute resolution systems, streamlining and simplifying the steps for cases that must go to court and a triage system that will allow better identification of issues facing families, the best way to resolve them and referral to community services.
The LCO is nearing completion of the consultation phase of its own family law project. The project is designed to identify best practices to help families at entry points to the family law system find the most appropriate way to resolve their disputes. Along with other groups, such as the OBA-ADR Institute Working Group, and the government, the LCO’s project is intended to help define a new approach to family law. In its consideration of the system and recommendations, the LCO will look more deeply at what families in different Ontario communities require as they face crises and will build on the government’s reforms with an eye to future effectiveness.
Consultation in the LCO’s family law process project ends February 1, 2010. The LCO expects to issue a summary of its findings in early spring 2010. For more information on the LCO’s project, see www.lco-cdo.org/en/familylaw.html
Launched in September 2007, the LCO operates independently of government to recommend law reforms to enhance access to justice.
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Dr. Patricia Hughes, Executive Director
Law Commission of Ontario