What changes should be made to family law?
These proposals let family law lawyers discuss and vote on what changes they think should be made to the law or court procedures. The results can be viewed and shared with legislators and the Courts. The proposals put forth are written by member lawyers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or its administrators. You can view more proposals or make a proposal yourself.
97% in favour out of 31 votes
Ken Proudman - view Arbitrator profile
The 2018 Federal Budget included funding for 17 judges to create a Unified Family Court in Alberta. At that time, UFCs had already been established in Manitoba, New Brunswick, PEI, parts of Saskatchewan, and parts of Ontario.1 76 days ago - edited 76 days ago
The Unified Family Court would be a one-stop-shop, essentially consolidating the Provincial Court and Court of King's Bench Family Divisions. The idea in a nutshell is that there would be dedicated judges to the area of family law (i.e. with expertise in family law), that court would be in a better position to design it's processes around family law, that court's management would be focused on family law issues, legal education wouldn't have to address two systems and as a result self-represented litigants wouldn't be confused about the two systems.
There was a judicial working group that had built a lot of momentum towards a UFC, however the proposal was shot down by the provincial government. My understanding is that at the time oil had plummeted, and the government decided that there were insufficient resources to implement the change (even though the feds would have been paying for the judges), and too much on their plate to devote the time to changing legislation to update this change. Alberta is in a much different economic climate now, and with the formation of AFLA, we're looking to reignite the flame to make this change happen.
There's a 2014 article by JP Boyd, KC on LawNow which further elaborates some of the benefits of a Unified Family Court: https://www.lawnow.org/unified-family-court-justice-strategy-alberta/