Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ontario May Bar Faith-Based Tribunals From Formally Settling Family Law Disputes

Ontario families may no longer be able to turn to a religious tribunal to settle disputes such as divorce and child custody cases if new legislation introduced Tuesday by Attorney General Michael Bryant becomes law.  “When it comes to family law arbitrations in this province, there is only one law for Ontario- Canadian law," Bryant told the legislature to cheers from his Liberal colleagues.  People still would be free to seek a resolution of family disputes from religious leaders, but Bryant said it would amount to "advice only" and would not be enforceable by the courts. The legislation is the first time the government has officially acknowledged Premier Dalton McGuinty's surprise statement to The Canadian Press last September that he would stop all religious arbitrations from having the force of law in Ontario . Some Jewish and Muslim groups have vowed to fight to keep the faith-based tribunals, and complained they had no input before McGuinty's surprise announcement last September. Source. Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press, For the complete story, please click here (last visited November 16, 2005, reo).

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