The Alberta Family Lawyers Association promotes a Day of Action on February 21, 2023 in support of raising awareness for the Family Justice Crisis in Alberta.
OPINION | The views expressed in this article are those of the author.
AFLA, an association of family lawyers in Alberta working together to advocate for access to justice in the family law justice system, has announced a “Day of Action” on February 21, 2023.
What is the AFLA Day of Action?
Many lawyers across Alberta will not be scheduling matters in Court on the Day of Action, and many will be closing their doors and not conducting business on that day, in order to draw attention to Alberta’s Family Justice Crisis.
AFLA is raising awareness and support primarily for the following issues which affect all Albertans navigating the family justice system:
- Improving availability and access to legal aid in family matters for lower income Albertans, and
- Following through with implementing a Unified Family Court in Alberta.
What is the Alberta Family Justice Crisis?
AFLA members are pressing to advance advocacy efforts as a result of the extreme negative impacts being felt by Albertans attempting to utilize the family law justice system. The impacts upon families, including children, are significant and long term.
The consequences of an underfunded system result in:
- increased use of court resources
- poorer outcomes for families going through the court system
- delays in getting legal remedies where there has been family violence
- an increase in all forms of family violence due to lack of timely relief, and
- greater demand upon social assistance programs, and an increase in child poverty and financial instability, where parents cannot apply for or receive child and/or spousal support.
A Unified Family Court in Alberta would benefit all Albertans by:
- adding up to 17 more judges to our courts as offered by the Federal Government and to be paid for paid for by the Federal Government obviously reducing Court hearing wait times
- streamlining process and procedure to a single court with consistent processes and procedures
- creating a separate group of judges who specialize in family law matters which would bring greater skills, expertise and consistency to court decisions thereby improving the reputation of the Alberta Courts and improving outcomes for litigants, and
- adding additional judicial resources to the system overall thereby decreasing the significant and critical delays being experienced throughout the civil superior court system.
The Alberta Family Lawyers’ Association is an organization formed of family lawyers in Alberta, with 261 members from all across the province. AFLA members are unified in working together to ensure the family justice system in Alberta is more efficient, more cost-effective for clients, and to ensure access to justice is systemically facilitated. AFLA is committed to improving the family justice system for the families and children of Alberta.
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DISCLAIMER The information in this article was correct at time of publishing. The law may have changed since then. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of LawNow or the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.