BC government opens public consultation on new Provincial Court Family Rules

1 November 2019

By Kevin Zakreski

On 29 October 2019, the government of British Columbia published a discussion paper and opened a public consultation on new Provincial Court Family Rules. According to the government’s news release, reform of the existing rules is proposed “with the goal of making the family court system less adversarial and easier to navigate for British Columbians.” A broad overview of the proposed reforms says that they are intended to:

  • connect the court process with out of court services such as assessment, education and dispute resolution;
  • encourage ways to achieve more timely decisions on family court matters;
  • simplify the court process to make it easier to understand and navigate; and
  • explore technology and processes that will help to streamline the court process.

The discussion paper contains five chapters as follows: (1) background to the project; (2) background and context for the paper’s recommendations; (3) overview of the conceptual model; (4) description of the proposed rules; and (5) discussion of changes to forms. The paper includes appendixes setting out draft rules (with explanatory commentary) and draft forms. The discussion paper was “developed by a working group that includes the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society, judges, the Province and a representative from a community-based organization.”

The consultation is open to the public until 16 December 2019. More information on the consultation and how to submit a response is available on the consultation webpage.

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