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July 13, 2009

Access to Family Justice Task Force

In February of 2008, the Minister of Justice and Consumer Affairs appointed a Task Force, chaired by Justice Raymond Guerette, to examine the issues and challenges faced by the Family Division of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick.  The Task Force was mandated to make recommendations to government that would lead to:

1) More timely access to justice in resolving family law disputes;
2) Expanded use of alternatives to the family court to resolve family law issues; and,
3) Increased access to legal information and legal assistance in family law matters. 

The Minister tabled the Task Force’s report on June 2, 2009.  The Task Force found that “the Court is in serious need of reform”.  The report contained 50 recommendations examining three areas for improvement: operations; legislation and rules of court in relation to family division matters; and, education and information. 

To promote discussion with key stakeholders and judges of the family division and to canvass their views on the recommendations, in particular those related to the adoption of an alternative model for the Court of Queen's Bench, the Minister is forming an implementation committee consisting of government officials with policy and operational expertise. The committee will also focus on the development of new rules of court and legislative changes to support an improved service delivery model for the family division, which will be piloted in the fall of 2009.

To see a complete copy of the report: http://www.gnb.ca/0062/FamilyJustice/FinalReport-e.pdf.