Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

June 21, 2012 17:12 ET

Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: 35th Anniversary of the Unified Family Court and Plaque Unveiling

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 21, 2012) - A plaque will be unveiled at the Hamilton Family Court House on Monday, June 25. The Hamilton Family Court was the first Unified Family Court in Canada, beginning as a pilot project in 1977. It has complete jurisdiction over all family law matters in its area, thereby providing clients with a single court capable of responding to all issues arising from a family breakdown.

Prior to the creation of the Unified Family Court, a family in crisis needed to deal separately with as many as four different courts. Beginning in 1977 at the Hamilton Family Court, one judge in one court could determine all the issues in a family law dispute, whether a question of divorce, property, separation, or the custody of children. The same court has jurisdiction to hear charges against minors, proceedings for the protection, adoption and guardianship of children, or criminal charges such as spousal assault.

Since the opening of Hamilton Family Court, similar courts have been established in 16 other locations across Ontario. In all other sites across the province, family law matters are divided between the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice.

The founding judges of the Hamilton Family Court, appointed in 1977, were Justice David Steinberg, and the late Justices John Van Duzer and Patrick Gravely. Justice Steinberg, along with Mrs. Joan Van Duzer and Mrs. Ruth Gravely will attend the plaque unveiling on June 25th.

Also in attendance, and making brief remarks, will be The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; The Honourable John Gerretsen, Attorney General of Ontario; Chief Justice Warren Winkler; Chief Justice Heather Smith; Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo; and, Laurie Pawlitza, the Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

When: Monday, June 25, 2012
4:30 p.m.
Where: Hamilton Family Court House
55 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 1H4

Please note: On-site interviews and photos may be arranged in advance. Please confirm your attendance in advance.

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