Developments in Family Law: The 1999-2000 Term
Supreme Court Law Review, Vol. 13, p. 307, 2000
14 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2008
In the 1999-2000 term, the Supreme Court of Canada issued two family law decisions. In Francis v. Baker, the Supreme Court addressed the Federal Child Support Guidelines ("the Guidelines") for the first time, in a decision that has quickly become both a benchmark and a site of contest for lower courts interpreting the Guidelines. In New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services) v. G. (J.), the Supreme Court addressed the question of whether there was a constitutional obligation to provide legal aid to a parent in a child protection proceeding, and held that parents have a vital interest in their relationship with their children that is protected by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ("the Charter"). In so doing, the Court has continued the significant trend towards the constitutionalization of Canadian family law. In addition to these two important decisions, some of the more interesting family law developments lie in what remains to come before the Court, namely, in the leaves to appeal that were, and were not, granted.
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