Canadian Journal of Family Law, forthcoming
Introduction: Many comprehensive reviews of family justice systems have been undertaken in common law jurisdictions over the past 20 years all seeking to make family law system approaches more workable for families and children. Resulting reform efforts have seen substantive law reform with child and family justice systems shifting from adversarial litigation to more informal out of court processes. Judges now exercise greater case management and settlement facilitation powers and children are being given more direct rights of advocacy and participation in the proceedings. This is all part of successive waves of family justice reform beginning with doctrinal reform (including adopting the “best interests of the child” standard), then incorporating alternative dispute resolution reform and now developing various innovative measures and practices to provide more effective family justice. Despite this extensive reform, common law jurisdictions including Canada, Scotland, England and Wales, Australia and New Zealand are reviewing their family justice systems and seeking to -enact more comprehensive family law reform providing meaningful affordable access to justice for children and families. Hong Kong is also under pressure to enact extensive legislative reforms dealing with children’s matters, and more broadly with family and matrimonial issues, which date back to 2002-2005... Click here to download the full paper.