Have your say on draft rules
Procedures in family cases brought to Provincial Court in BC are governed by the Provincial Court Family Rules (the rules). These rules are followed by judges and court registries as well as by people seeking court orders about parenting arrangements, guardianship, contact, child and spousal support under the Family Law Act (FLA), or decisions about enforcing child and spousal support orders under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act (FMEA).
The Ministry of Attorney General and the Provincial Court of British Columbia have been working with representatives of the Legal Services Society, Law Society, Canadian Bar Association and a community-based non-profit organization for the last five years to improve family court procedures by developing new rules and forms. They are now making a real effort to get public input on draft rules and forms.
Your feedback will be considered as the rules are finalized, reviewed by the Provincial Court Family Rules Working Group and Steering Committee, and then submitted to the provincial cabinet for consideration.
The deadline for providing feedback is December 16, 2019.
The Ministry of Attorney General and the Provincial Court have worked hard to obtain feedback from everyone interested in family law procedures in Provincial Court. They have issued a detailed but readable discussion paper you can find at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/provincial-court-family-rules-consultation. It outlines their approach, provides background information, explains the proposed rules, and presents draft forms.
The paper has 5 chapters:
This one is self-explanatory.
The Working Group canvassed literature and developments in other jurisdictions and continued to take note of new initiatives during the project. This chapter outlines that research.
This chapter provides an overview of the proposed new model designed to create procedures to help families with both legal and non-legal needs while dealing with the unique challenges of family disputes.
The description of the proposed rules is arranged by parts, with a general description of the policy underlying the rules in each part. Appendix 3 provides a table setting out a preliminary draft with the actual language of the proposed rule and a description of what it does.
The new rules propose replacing or updating all the family court forms. This chapter explains the approach taken to improve the accessibility and usability of the forms. Draft forms are in Appendix 4.
The Provincial Court and the Ministry of Attorney General invite your comments on the policy direction and the draft language of the rules and forms. You will also find specific consultation questions in the discussion paper on topics including treatment of urgent matters, without notice orders, and family violence.
Please send your comments by December 16, 2019, by:
Family Policy Legislation & Transformation
Justice Services Branch
Ministry of Attorney General
PO Box 9222, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9J1
Note: The ministry has indicated it will assume that comments received are not confidential and that respondents consent to the ministry attributing their comments to them and to the release or publication of their submissions. Any requests for confidentiality or anonymity must be clearly marked and will be respected to the extent permitted by freedom of information legislation.