In September 2017, the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family and Alberta’s Office of the Child and Youth Advocate hosted a two-day national symposium to discuss the impact of the legal system on Canadian families, with the goal of generating innovative ideas, new research priorities and best practices around the ways that children participate in legal processes. One component of that project involved the Institute conducting a survey of participants prior to the symposium. The survey collected data on participants’ attitudes on the importance of soliciting children’s views in family law proceedings that affect them, the best ways to determine those views, and the extent to which they have had experience with soliciting children’s views in their work. The resulting report was published in December 2017 (Paetsch, Bertrand & Boyd, 2017). The substantial majority of survey respondents were lawyers; only four judges completed the survey. It was decided that, in addition to the information collected from lawyers, it would be very useful to also solicit the views from the bench on this important topic. The Institute requested and received permission from Associate Chief Justice Rooke of Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench to conduct a survey of Queen’s Bench justices on the subjects addressed in the survey of symposium participants. A questionnaire was developed based on the content of the earlier survey to maximize comparability of the two instruments.
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Paetsch, J.J., Bertrand, L.D. & Boyd, J.-P. E.. (2018). Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Survey Of Justices of Alberta’s Court Of Queen’s Bench. Calgary, AB: Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family.