July 14, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A pilot project for an improved service delivery model for the Family Division of the Court of Queen's Bench will take place in Saint John, starting this fall. The announcement was made by Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister Michael Murphy at a recent meeting of the Law Society of New Brunswick.
"We examined a number of criteria in making this decision, including case volume, court delay and the infrastructure currently in place," said Murphy. "The judicial district of Saint John is an ideal location for this critically important project. I want to thank Chief Justice David Smith of the Court of Queen's Bench for his guidance and support of this initiative. I also want to thank the Task Force on Access to Family Justice for its continued support as we move forward in revitalizing New Brunswick's family justice system."
The Task Force on Access to Family Justice, led by Justice Raymond Guérette, tabled its report on family law in New Brunswick in June. The report outlines 50 recommendations examining three areas for improvement: operations; legislation and rules of court in relation to Family Division matters; and education and information.
An implementation committee consisting of governmental officials was struck. The committee will carry out discussions with key stakeholders and judges of the Family Division to canvass their views on the recommendations, in particular those related to the adoption of an alternative model for the Family Division of the Court of Queen's Bench, based on an existing model in Ottawa.
"There remains a considerable amount of work to be done before a pilot project is implemented in the fall, including the development of supporting rules of court," said Murphy. "Now that we have made our decision on location, we can concentrate on developing an ideal pilot project that works for New Brunswick families.
Details on the pilot project will be officially announced in Saint John this fall.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elaine Bell, communications, Department of Justice and Consumer Affairs, 506-453-6543.