The Canada Court Watch Program and
the Family Justice Review Committee Program are
based on the core principles and beliefs that all our members and
supporters believe in and are committed to. As citizen owners of our nation, these
are the principles upon which we believe our judicial and family law system should be
Members and supporters of the Canada Court Watch Program believe:
A) IN MATTERS RELATING TO THE JUDICIAL
1) That the judicial system and those
who work within it have an obligation to serve the community and to ensure that the rights
of the people shall always take precedence over government bureaucracies and institutions.
2) That the community should play a
vital role and should work co-operatively with the courts and legal profession to help
ensure that justice is being interpreted and delivered in a manner expected by the
community for its citizens.
3) That people in a community
must take a leadership role in teaching themselves, their children and their neighbours
about their Rights, Freedoms, and Liberties and that they
should just not leave it up to the legal system itself to ensure that their rights and
freedoms are protected.
4) That the judicial system must
strive to provide justice as efficiently, effectively, swiftly, and inexpensively as
possible and to actively pursue judicial research so as to create new and innovative
methods for improving the execution of justice and to provide better service to the
5) That the adversarial approach used
in family law, where each litigant is encouraged to fight for as much as they can get and
where lawyers are obligated to do so, is not effective in resolving family conflicts and
in many instances only creates further difficulties for children and their families.
It must be changed to a more family-friendly system, one that recognizes that the
rights of children, family and others in the community must not be sacrificed to the
benefit of any single individual.
6) That the ethical integrity of the
justice system is of paramount importance. That lawyers and judges should be held
accountable to the highest of ethical standards. The public should never be satisfied
knowing that lawyers and judges are not serving the people and that's the way it is and
there's nothing that they can do about it.
7) That the judicial system has been
created to serve the people, not rule the people. That those in the judicial system are
paid to serve the public. Judges are persons from the community who have earned the
respect of the community through their wisdom, good judgement and desire to see that their
fellow citizens are treated with respect and dignity by the legal process.
8) That many court customs are
outdated and ineffective for dealing with civil cases because it doesn't allow the parties
or the witnesses to interact effectively with the judge. This often impedes the
process of justice. This needs to be replaced by a less formal, more flexible and
more friendlier system for resolving most civil disputes. Although many court
procedures have a long history of tradition, they must be open to change and
9) That money can be a corrupting
factor and that the court system needs to actively look at it's policies and correct, as
much as possible, anything that would allow money factors to influence the execution of
justice. Lawyers, for example, should not be allowed to contribute money or to be
involved in any business relationships that involve judges or their families. Judges
should not be allowed to receive royalties from book or movie deals about trials they
10) That regulation of the judicial
system must include meaningful participation by laypersons from the community. Self
regulation by the Bar and Disciplinary Counsels cannot serve to best protect the public
because there is an inherent conflict of interest. Regulation, in order to be
effective, must have significant input from an independent body of citizens whose primary
obligation is to protect the rights of the people, not those who are being regulated.
B) IN MATTERS RELATING TO SEPARATION -
DIVORCE - CHILDREN
1) Upon separation, that every child is acknowledged
to possess the right and be given the opportunity to share time with both parents in a
fair and equitable parenting arrangement within a safe environment free from conflict.
2) Upon separation, that parents should be given the opportunity to parent their child
within a parenting arrangement, which provides as close to equal parenting time as is
possible. Acknowledgement that equivalent parenting time with each involved parent in a
safe and loving environment is in the child's best interests.
3) Upon separation, that each and every parent must be given an equal and fair
opportunity to demonstrate their capability and willingness to parent, along with
contributing to aspects and issues which represent the best interests of the child.
4) That both parents contribute financially to the well being of their children. This
contribution should reflect an amount that is fair and equitable, reflecting the ability
and financial standing of each parent.
5) That families experiencing conflict during separation and divorce should receive
ongoing support from the community until such a time that they are able to develop a
working relationship between themselves that is in the best interests of their children.
6) Parental conduct which promotes cooperation and openness between parents, as well as
encouraging the other parents participation in parenting of the child, shall be
recognized as a significant factor in eliminating conflict and emotional stress which
would be in the best interest of all members of the family.
7) That a child's friends, school and familiar community are important social factors
that should not be disrupted due to separation and divorce if at all possible.
8) That conflicts endured by families are not isolated incidents that affect only those
in the immediate family, but indirectly impact other members of the community as a whole
and as such require the community as a whole to help solve them.
9) That families in conflict will benefit by a process that resolves their conflicts in
the most non-adversarial manner as is possible.
10) That meaningful and effective positive motivators, as well as enforcement control
procedures, will inspire parents to comply willingly to their obligations as parents and
to the financial support of their children.
11) That positive parental role models, both male and female, play a vital part in the
mental, emotional and spiritual growth of the child.
12) That both parents of separation or divorce have the right to the fair and equal
opportunity of parenting their children, but maintaining their role as parent is a
privilege that each parent must continue to maintained through their demonstration of
parenting skills that recognize the needs of the child and the importance that both
parents play in their childrens lives.