Master of Laws




Professor Claire Houston


Is the current family justice system more accessible than ever before? This paper considers the significant changes that have been made to the Ontario family justice system in recent years, including those made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to determine if the “fundamental overhaul” and “bold innovation” called upon by the national Action Committee has occurred, bringing Ontario closer to a more accessible family justice system.

Several prominent legal scholars have identified access to family justice in Canada as a crisis and have made strongly worded recommendations on how the family justice system could be more accessible. As a result, small but significant reform was implemented. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario's family justice system made additional changes, including technological advancements to improve access to justice. Were these the “fundamental” and “bold” changes needed to end the access to justice crisis in Ontario family law?

Looking at key reports and articles on access to family justice reform, as well as changes made in recent years, including changes made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper argues that the current Ontario family justice system is more accessible, but more work needs to be done to ensure we do not continue to leave the most vulnerable behind.

Included in

Family Law Commons