The Law Commission of Ontario has just released its report “Increasing Access to Family Justice Through Comprehensive Entry Points and Inclusivity.”
The report provides very useful, detailed information about the nature of Ontario families in 2013, examining particular barriers faced by Aboriginal and immigrant populations, as well as older Ontarians and people with disabilities and arguing for an inclusive family law system to address these barriers.
The changing roles of women and men in families is explored, with note made of the fact that women continue to play the most significant parenting and homemaking role in most families.
The report acknowledges domestic violence in a number of places, but would have been strengthened if it had made it a stand-alone category. As well, although the report describes some of the challenges posed by the present family law/court system for cases involving violence, it could have gone much farther to detail the unmet needs of women and children fleeing woman abuse and the very real and serious consequences (including death) that can result.
The Law Commission ends the report with three recommendations that reflect its belief that “the development of comprehensive (multidisciplinary, multifunction) services is the most effective way to provide access to the family legal system” (p. 3 of the report).
You can access, download and print the report from the Law Commission of Ontario’s website: http://www.lco-cdo.org/family-law-reform-final-report.pdf