Collaborative Design of a Research Informed, Coordinated Provincial / Queen’s Bench Family Violence Court Model
Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research
The Collaborative Design of a Research-Informed, Coordinated Provincial / Queen’s Bench Family Violence Court Model project was a collaborative academic, judicial and New Brunswick government project designed to document, assess and improve the sharing of information about risk and danger (adult and child) and to improve the sharing and consistency of agreements and orders across legal systems in family violence cases. The ultimate goal was to design and pilot a coordinated court model to ensure due process while managing safe, research and evidence-informed information exchanges in family violence cases across the criminal, civil-intimate-partner protection, family-law and child-protection legal systems. The anticipated outcomes were enhancement of adult and child safety, reduction of duplication of information and evidence, and improved coordination of court orders and agreements. As a result of Covid - 19 and repetitive public health lockdowns throughout the whole of the project, particularly in Moncton, we were able to meet some but not all of our objectives. We were able to collect and assess court file data from multiple court systems and connect the court data from multiple systems to those accused of domestic violence crimes. We were also able to collect and document focus group data. We presented our data to the judiciary, the project’s advisory committee, directors of child protection services, and to pertinent professionals and service providers in the Moncton region. We will be able to propose the model and identify obstacles requiring a response in order to implement the model. We will also propose potential solutions.