Frequently Asked Questions

 
What is the Canada Court Watch Program?
Who can participate in the Canada Court Watch Program?
Why was the Canada Court Watch Program created?
How will the Canada Court Watch Program achieve these goals?
How do I start a Canada Court Watch Program in my area?
Can Court Watch help me in my personal legal matter?

What is the Canada Court Watch Program?

The Canada Court Watch Program is a public awareness and education program developed by the National Association for Public and Private Accountability (N.A.P.P.A.).  It is a program designed to help and inform citizens, both young and old and  from all walks of life, to learn more about the family court and legal system and to get involved in their community by helping in the process of correcting the many problems that Canadians currently face with the Justice System.  Citizens from the community called "Court Watchers" volunteer their time where resources are available by doing such things as:

  • participating as court observers and providing sources of information and help to those facing the court system.
  • participating with fund raising, membership and educational activities in the community.
  • providing community input to the legal process and to be part of the process to affect change in laws and court procedures.

Local Canada Court Watch groups oversee a citizen's body called the Family Justice Review Committee.  This committee, which consists of persons of good standing from the community, reviews matters involving injustice in the community in an open and accountable process.  Meetings are held in an open public forum and matters affecting the citizens in the community are discussed and decided upon amongst the people of the community.

Currently, the program is funded solely through donations from individuals and through businesses in the private sector.  Financial donations are most appreciated.  

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Who can participate in the Canada Court Watch Program?

Participation and membership in a local Canada Court Watch Program is open all members of the community, both men and women and members of all ethnic backgrounds.  Student memberships are available to those who are not of voting age.  Those who choose to become members must agree to work within the rules and regulations established by the members and to support the founding principles, goals and objectives of the organization.

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Why was the Canada Court Watch Program created?
 
The Canada Court Watch Program was created to address the concern of an ever-growing number of Canadian citizens who feel that our system of justice is failing, especially in our family courts.  The courts are failing too many children and their families.
 
Too many Canadian families know of family member, neighbour or friend who has been devastated by our family court system.  The founders of the program feel that although there are many fine judges and lawyers working hard to maintain the integrity and respect of the system, there are now too many cases involving children and families that the court system is not dealing with in an effective and just manner.   Many Canadians have lost respect for our justice system.   
 
This in turn is creating a whole host of other social problems which can be directly traced back to the decisions of the courts.

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What are the goals of the Canada Court Watch Program?

The Canada Court Watch Program has a number of goals. Some of these goals are:

  • To help ensure that the rights and freedoms of all Canadian children and their families are protected.
  • To bring a new awareness to the courts and to all those in the legal profession, that in matters of family law, that they have a moral obligation to protect the rights of children, family and community, not just the interests of the individual client as is currently practiced in the adversarial family law system.
  • To usher in the highest standards of not only law, but ethics, which will improve the reputation of Canadian justice system and make it the most highly respected, not only to our own citizens but to all citizens of the world.
  • To improve the reputation of all the professionals involved in the delivery of justice to children and families and to make Canadian judges, lawyers and health care workers the most highly respected in the world.
  • To make the courts more open and accessible by all Canadians, rich or poor.  To ensure that the lack of money or bureaucracy will not become a barrier to justice.
  • To improve the efficiency of the courts and to ensure that taxpayer's monies are not wasted through abuse or inefficiency.
  • To maintain accountability in the system and to ensure that all those working within the legal system, including judges, lawyers, and health care professionals are held accountable to all their fellow Canadians.

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How will the Canada Court Watch Program achieve these goals?

The program will achieve it goals through a number of strategies:

  • By educating individuals and the general public about the court system through the development and support of public court watch and citizens' justice review groups.  Promotion will be through newsletters, brochures, other advertising media as well as public meetings.
  • By taking members of the public into the courts so that they can directly observe for themselves the workings of the court.  The Canada Court Watch Program is currently developing a student court watch program which will include taking high school students into the courts as observers.
  • By making the process of the courts more open by making the records of the court more accessible to the public through the internet and various other media.
  • By encouraging public support for those lawyers and judges who clearly maintain the highest standards of ethics while at the same time alerting the public about those lawyers and members of the judiciary who in the minds of the community appear not to be working towards the best interests of children and their families.
  • To promote positive change to laws that will help to protect children and families through involvement in the political process at a local, regional or national level.
  • By exposing to the public, any gross negligence or corruption within the justice system which is tarnishing the reputation of the good Canadian judges and all those in the judiciary.  Where necessary Court Watch will support the citizens in their communities in having judges removed from office or lawyers disbarred.
  • To expose to the community any member of the legal professional who uses unethical or illegal practices during the course of their business which is to the detriment of Canadian children and families. Where necessary Court Watch will help support the citizens to boycott those lawyers and those law firms who have been found by the public to have acted in a manner that the community does not agree with.
  • To expose to the community any professional, social worker, government employee, etc. who uses unethical or illegal practices to the detriment of Canadian children and families.
  • Where necessary, the Court Watch Program will assist the citizens of a community to boycott those professionals and/or government employees who act maliciously against children and their families.  We will help to get them fired or to put out of business where the citizens in the community feel that this may be warranted.

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How do I start a Canada Court Watch Program Chapter in my area?

We will provide a Canada Court Watch Program - Implementation Package with complete materials and a guide to assist you form a local chapter in your city. The cost is nominal.

It takes an initial group of 4 to 6 individuals in a community to establish a successful chapter.  

If you are interested in starting a chapter in your community, email us. Please include your full name and contact information.

Training for local Court Watch chapters will be provided through the National Association for Public and Private Accountability (N.A.P.P.A.).

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Can Canada Court Watch help me with my personal court case or legal matter?

Due to the complexity of most cases before the courts, the overwhelming number of cases in the court system and the limited resources of Canada Court Watch volunteers, Canada Court Watch as an organization cannot get personally involved in personal court cases.  Canada Court Watch volunteers cannot help people to prepare documents or to give what would be considered as legal advice.  Court Watch can only help people in a general sense of providing supplemental information to people which they may find helpful in their cases or to refer those needing help on to other resources that they may find helpful in their case before the court.  Court Watch volunteers give as much telephone helps as resources permit. Much of the information which Court Watch passes on to people is based on information passed on from others who have had previous dealings with the legal system or information found in the public domain. 

It must also be noted that Canada Court Watch observers are volunteers and their ability to attend individual court appearances is based on their personal availability and resources.  Canada Court Watch will make reasonable attempts to assist persons to within the limits of resources  but again, due to the overwhelming number of cases and complexity of most cases, no guarantees can be given nor should be expected by any individual in any particular case.

Court Watch volunteers can on an individual and personal basis, attempt to help those who feel that the legal system is failing them and feel that the public must be made aware of injustices committed against them.  Court Watch volunteers  may be able to review documents for the purposes of exposing injustices which have an interest to the public's good.  However, it is up to the individual person to make the choice or personal understanding between others as to what he/she may decide to do to bring public awareness of their own case. Court Watch will try to direct persons to  appropriated resources which may be available in the community to help individuals in their case such as lawyer,s paralegals, health care professionals or advocates. While Canada Court Watch will do its best to provide referrals to competent outside sources of help, Canada Court Watch assumes no responsibility for services provided by those who may enter into an agreement with such service providers.

Those who would like Canada Court Watch volunteers to get openly involved in their matter must be aware that most in the legal community, including judges, do not like Canada Court Watch being involved.  After all, who in power and control want to be watched.  In some cases, judges will punish those they see have Court Watch involved in their case. Individuals must carefully consider how they would like Court Watch to help and how visible they wish to be in having Court Watch involved in their case. Canada Court Watch generally limits its involvement to providing helpful information for people to use as they feel appropriate to their case.

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