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Available Expert - The pandemic’s impact on family justice

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Queen’s University law expert Nicholas Bala is available to talk about a new study he is working on that looks into the affect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on those involved in Ontario’s family justice system.

“Since the first provincial lockdown, we’ve seen an increase in the number of parents separating,” says Professor Nick Bala. “Now, we’re seeing more family violence, child abuse, and neglect. We’re trying to understand those stresses and how they’re playing out in the justice system.”

The study will look at the pandemic’s impact over time: from the closing of courthouses and tight restrictions that brought proceedings almost to a standstill in mid-March; the expanded use of technology during the spring; the gradual reopening of the courts in the summer; and to the expected pathway to a “new normal” over the course of 2020-21.

The research project has received funding from the Ontario chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Bala will work on this research project with his long-time research partner, Rachel Birnbaum, a social work professor at Western University; his former student, Claire Houston, a law professor at Western; and his LLM student, Kate Deveau. 

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer  Julie Brown ( 343-363-2763 or Julie.brown@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.  

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia.  


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