Law Society and CBA to develop family law practice guidelines

The Benchers recently accepted a report by the Family Law Task Force, adopting the key recommendation that the Law Society work with the Canadian Bar Association to develop best practice guidelines to support the professional development of BC family lawyers.

Task force chair, Bencher Carol Hickman stressed that the focus of the task force’s recommendations is professional education and support, not regulation and discipline. “Through our research and consultation, the task force came to believe that family law is a unique area of practice,” Hickman said. “We concluded that while it is not necessary to amend the Professional Conduct Handbook or to create a code of conduct for family lawyers, it is important to promote and support professionalism in this area of law to better protect the public and, in particular, to reduce the harm caused to children by family law disputes.”

The Family Law Task Force was created in January 2007, in response to a number of recommendations received from BC’s Ministry of Attorney General. The task force’s research included a jurisdictional study of family law, best practice guidelines from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, and consultation with members of some of the CBA family law sections, collaborative law lawyers and the CBA family law provincial chairs.