Supporting Survivors through Court Reform: Assessing the Role of Integrated and Specialized Courts f
18 January 2022
Family Violence & Family Law Brief (11) 2 This Learning Brief is part of the Alliance of Canadian Research Centres’ project “Supporting the Health of Survivors of Family Violence in Family Law Proceedings” - funded by Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) At Simon Fraser University, we live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəyə̓m (Musqueam),. [...] Family Violence & Family Law Brief (11) 4 Domestic Violence Courts in BC Duncan/Cowichan Valley The earliest domestic violence court in BC is located in Duncan of the Cowichan Valley and was established in 2009 (Provincial Court of British Columbia, 2015a). [...] Surrey Since 2016, the Surrey domestic violence court has operated as a domestic violence remand court with a dedicated Crown counsel team and resources from the judiciary, sheriffs and Court Services Branch of the BC Ministry of Justice to expedite domestic violence criminal cases (Provincial Court of British Columbia, 2016). [...] Specialized family law judges should have substantive and procedural expertise in family law, strong dispute resolution skills, training in and sensitivity to psychological and social dimensions of family law cases, including the impact of family violence on children (Birnbaum et al, 2017), and awareness of various family justice services available to families (Action Committee on Access to Justic. [...] The literature also recommends developing a unified family court that includes the strengths of the provincial system, such as simplified rules, forms, and dispute resolution processes that fit the needs and limited means of family law participants (Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, 2013).