October, 2012

Recommendations on Regulation, Policy, and Training Developed Pursuant to the British Columbia Family Law Act

On November 24, 2011, the British Columbia Legislature passed new family law legislation that will come into effect as the Family Law Act on March 18, 2013. During this period, the Ministry of Justice will develop regulations, and new  policy and training for family justice professionals will be developed to implement the new family law system in British Columbia.
The following is a set of joint recommendations from the organizations and individuals signed below for government  ministries and professional bodies who are creating regulation, policy, or professional training pursuant to the Family Law Act.

The organizations and individuals who developed these recommendations are engaged in legal practice, research, education, or advocacy in family law, as well as front-line work with women escaping violence. We have expertise in issues of women’s equality, particularly issues of violence against women. We met to identify areas in the legislative framework still to be developed that would benefit from a women’s equality perspective.

Our goal when developing these recommendations was to ensure that the application of the Family Law Act through regulations, policies, and professional training requirements is informed by the lived conditions of women who have experienced violence. We make these recommendations in the hope of furthering women’s substantive equality, with our primary focus on ensuring women’s safety during and after separation from a violent man.

We hope that relevant government ministries and professional bodies will respond to these recommendations, and will remain open to receiving future recommendations from women’s groups and anti-violence organizations.

Atira Women’s Resource Society
Battered Women’s Support Services
Laura Johnston, a student of the UBC Faculty of Law
Professor Fiona Kelly, UBC Faculty of Law
Professor Susan Boyd, UBC Faculty of Law
West Coast LEAF
YWCA Munroe House and YWCA Legal Educator

To review the recommendations, please see Open Letter Recommendations