Understanding the differences between family cases and other types of litigation is essential for an appropriate response to family disputes. Judges have a role in family cases that markedly differs from the traditional judicial role. The authors argue that an effective and accessible family justice system requires pre-trial and post-trial case management by a single judge, an approach to family justice reflected in the slogan: "One judge for one family." Judges should have the necessary knowledge, skills, and training needed to resolve family disputes and to help effect changes in parental behaviours and attitudes, as well as the willingness to collaborate effectively with non"legal professionals. A differentiated approach to the way each family case is managed is required, varying with the nature of the case, the nature and level of the conflict, and the stage of the litigation process. The paper includes consideration of Canadian approaches to judicial case management, including analysis of the small body of reported case law on the reasons for judicial managing and monitoring family cases before and after trial, and on recusal—when to stop case management.
Nicholas Bala, Rachel Birnbaum, and Donna Martinson,
"One Judge for One Family: Differentiated Case Management for Families in Continuing Conflict"
Can J Fam L