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Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward

CRILF Symposium: Finding the Best Ways ForwardOffice of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF), in partnership with the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta (OCYA), is holding the “Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward” symposium on September 15 & 16, 2017.

This two-day national symposium will gather together a multidisciplinary spectrum of leading stakeholders to share information and talk about how the voices of children and youth are heard, how their interests are protected, and how their evidence is received in justice processes.

There will also be a half-day pre-symposium conference, at which attendees will review law on the parenting and care of children after separation, contemporary dispute resolution processes, and traditional and emerging ways that the views and voices of children and youth are presented in those processes.

Finding the Best Ways Forward

In a recent interview, we spoke with Executive Director of CRILF, John-Paul E. Boyd, who told us a bit more about the symposium. Here’s what he had to say about why this event is so exciting.

It is exciting to see something that was but an idea become reality and take shape. I’m excited by the extraordinarily high quality of presenters who are coming from across Canada, and, in fact, one also from the U.S. We’ve got Dr. Rachel Birnbaum, from Queen’s University (Ontario); Professor Nicholas Bala, a frequent speaker and researcher in family law matters; Dr. Francine Cyr from the Université de Montréal; and Hon. Justice D. Martinson QC, of the British Columbia Supreme Court. Aside from academics and researchers, we’ve got mental health professionals who will be presenting on this issue and lawyers, such as Patricia Hébert QC, who presented at LESA’s Refresher in Lake Louise. So, lots of people that I unblushingly call the leading likes.”

Click here for a complete list of presenters.

John-Paul also told us a bit about some of the key takeaways attendees can look forward to.

“We intend on publishing a record of proceedings following the symposium. We’ve asked each workshop to attempt to produce something tangible. The fundamental idea is for everyone to share what’s going on in their particular jurisdiction. Partly, this symposium is about information sharing – common controversies; recommendations for policy, process, and legislation reform; best practices – so that attendees can understand what is going on in other parts of the country.”

Finally, John-Paul shared some of the topics that will be covered at the symposium, which include:

  • Assessing the Credibility of Children
  • Creating, Operating, and Sustaining Legal Clinics for Children and Youth
  • Hearing the Voice of the Alienated Child in Family Law Disputes
  • Hearing the Voices of Infants and Toddlers

…and more

Dates & Location

  • Pre-Symposium Conference | September 14, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Calgary (700 Centre Street SE)
  • Symposium | September 15 & 16, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Calgary (700 Centre Street SE)

Want to learn more about the symposium? Click here for details, including keynote speakers, accommodations, pricing, and registration information.

The early bird registration deadline is Saturday, June 3. Click here to register today.

Funding for the symposium generously provided by the Alberta Law Foundation.

Alberta Law Foundation