The Costs of Justice in Domestic Violence Cases: Mapping Canadian Law and Policy

In Trevor Farrow & Les Jacobs, eds, The Justice Crisis: The Cost and Value of Accessing Law (Vancouver, UBC Press, 2020)

30 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020 Last revised: 8 Jun 2020

See all articles by Jennifer Koshan

Jennifer Koshan

University of Calgary - Faculty of Law

Janet Eaton Mosher

Osgoode Hall Law School

Wanda Anne Wiegers

University of Saskatchewan - College of Law

Date Written: May 11, 2020

Abstract

Domestic violence cases in Canada present unique access to justice challenges due to complex power dynamics, structural inequality, and the reality that victims, offenders, and children must often navigate multiple legal systems to resolve multiple issues. The complexity of these cases has both personal and systemic impacts, and because women are the primary victims of domestic violence, these impacts are gendered and are heightened for marginalized women. Issues may also differ across Canadian provinces and territories and on First Nations reserves given the application of different laws, policies, and dispute resolution models. This paper explores how the access to justice crisis in Canada manifests in domestic violence cases. After reviewing the literature on access to justice and domestic violence, we map out and compare laws, government policies and justice system components affecting the parties in domestic violence cases across Canadian jurisdictions, highlighting the barriers in seeking justice that women and their children confront. We then use a hypothetical case study to explore how the complex interaction of these laws, policies, and processes may impact domestic violence victims. Our analysis is a first step towards identifying the systemic reforms necessary to enhance access to justice in domestic violence cases.

Suggested Citation

Koshan, Jennifer and Mosher, Janet Eaton and Wiegers, Wanda Anne, The Costs of Justice in Domestic Violence Cases: Mapping Canadian Law and Policy (May 11, 2020). In Trevor Farrow & Les Jacobs, eds, The Justice Crisis: The Cost and Value of Accessing Law (Vancouver, UBC Press, 2020) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3598277

Jennifer Koshan (Contact Author)

University of Calgary - Faculty of Law ( email )

Murray Fraser Hall
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Janet Eaton Mosher

Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Wanda Anne Wiegers

University of Saskatchewan - College of Law ( email )

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Canada

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