According to the story as released by the Globe & Mail (Toronto), the Supreme Court of Canada has commissioned a report on family law “out of concern that justice is fast becoming inaccessible to a vast proportion of the country”. Unfortunately, the report totally ignores the fundamental human rights of parents and children. Although the report says, “estranged spouses and their children are seriously damaged by the adversarial system”, its only solution is to further abuse parents by putting them through quasi-judicial proceedings with no guarantee that they will continue to be meaningful parents to their children. Speeding up injustice is not justice.
Apparently the report suggests that judges lawyer and law schools must embrace a culture of mediation and settlement. Mediation and settlement will do nothing to stop the current bias against fathers in Family Court. Mediation in fact will be the tool that will be used to further subjugate fathers to their children’s mother just as is happening now.
Interestingly the report notes that “cuts the family legal aid have a disproportionate effect on women and children, …”. This is a red herring. First of all, women receive the bulk of legal aid. Legal aid is seldom available to fathers. Consequently, when legal aid is cut women continue to receive a far larger cut than men do. More importantly, the more obvious “disproportionate effects” are the disproportionate loss of parenting by fathers, and the astronomically disproportionate amount of child support paid by fathers. All of which happens to fathers who are more than willing and able to look after the children themselves. And indeed, poor fathers even end up paying mothers who are more than capable of supporting of the child, even to the extent of sending the child to day care when the father is available to look after the child.
The simple facts of the matter are, that Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell, the head of the Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, has failed to recognize the fundamental human rights of parents to raise their children. There is no reason why good parents should have to fight to have an equal parenting role after their separation. If the Supreme Court were simply to put its much touted role of supporting substantive equality there would be no need for the fuss about the problems with mediation and payments and most importantly lawyers, family courts, and, of course, judges.
Apparently the report admits that estranged spouses and their children are seriously damaged by the adversarial system. Yet there is nothing in the Globe and Mail article to suggest that the court is accepting any responsibility for the decades of damage for which it is responsible. When we stop to consider the extent of the damage done to the individual parents, to their children, and to society by this maniacal family-law regime that has been ripping families apart without the slightest indication that it has any understanding of justice or human rights, with no feelings for the victims, with nothing but the financial gain of the divorce industry in its sights, and that there is to be no justice for any of those victims that have gone before, we must be outraged, we must take action, we must demand restitution.
It’s not that justice is fast becoming inaccessible, it’s that justice is impossible for the vast majority of fathers in Canadian family law, just as it is in most of the Western world. Until the family-law courts accept that the only principle upon which a parent can be denied their parenting rights and the child can be denied its equal parenting rights is the abuse or neglect of the child, and the courts cease to preach the unachievable, undefinable, unjust and irrational mantra of the “best interest of the child”, there can be no justice in a family-law court. And this applies equally to fathers and mothers and all other child caregivers.
Gentlemen, in spite of the seemingly favorable rhetoric, this is not a step in the right direction, this is another divorce-industry challenge to fathers. Prepare yourselves.
Supreme Court Chief Justice calls for family law overhaul