Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

About the Institute

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family was established on 1 February 1987 and closed on 31 August 2018. The objects of the Institute were to undertake and advance interdisciplinary research, education, and publication on issues related to law and the family; to promote evidence-based reform of the law and legal processes; and, to improve access to justice in family law matters.

The Institute was an independent organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, and was managed by a board of directors made up of prominent judges and family law lawyers, and leading scholars in law, social work, psychology and sociology, from across Canada.


Mission & Vision Statement

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, established in 1987, is the national leader in high-quality, multidisciplinary research on law, the family and children.

The Institute seeks to achieve better outcomes for families and children by:

· promoting the development and use of evidence-based research;
· informing courts, government, professionals, academics, service providers and the public; and,
· advising on the development of law, policy, processes and practices.

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The objects of the Institute are to:

· contribute to a better understanding of how legal systems and laws deal with the family, to analyze the effects of such laws and whether such laws accomplish their policy objectives, and to provide advice regarding the reform of such laws;
· contribute to a better understanding of law and the family through interdisciplinary research, combining such areas as social welfare, economics, psychology, health sciences, education, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy;
· edit and publish books, papers, journals, other forms of literature and non-print media, including entries in data bases, respecting law and the family in order to disseminate information to the members of the Institute as well as to the public; and,
· complement the responsibilities of existing educational institutions by providing a pool of expertise and talent in the area of law and the family by undertaking educational activities that meet these ends.

In addition to contributing to the work of governments, universities and the legal and social work professions, the Institute assists the public by undertaking and disseminating studies that present balanced, well-researched views of interactions between laws, the legal system, and the family.

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Sponsors & Funders

Funding to establish the Institute was provided by the Alberta Law Foundation in 1987. In addition to the Foundation's continuing support, funds for specific projects are also provided by various private and public sector sponsors. Over the years, projects have been funded by:

· provincial government departments including Alberta Family and Social Services, Premier's Council in Support of Alberta Families, Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Manitoba Native Justice Inquiry, and Yukon Justice;
· federal government departments such as Justice Canada, Health Canada, Immigration Canada, Solicitor General Canada, Status of Women Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada;
· non-governmental agencies such as the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the Society for Children's Right to Adequate Parental Support, and Alberta Children's Hospital;
· charitable foundations including the Laidlaw Foundation, the Alberta Family Life and Substance Abuse Foundation, and the Donner Canadian Foundation; and,
· other institutes and universities, in Canada and abroad, including the British Council, the BT Forum, the Alberta Law Reform Institute, the Policy Research Centre for Children, Youth and Families, and the University of Toronto.

The University of Calgary also kindly provided the Institute with furniture, accounting services and other assistance.

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