Improving Ontario’s Family Justice System through Technology

Family Law has a substantial impact on people’s lives.  In an effort to improve the family justice process, the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution, located at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, collaborated with the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) to explore ways that technology can help support families that are involved in the family law system. The Winkler Institute has an expertise in human-centred design, and as an independent university-based research centre, took an objective view of the issues faced in the family justice system across Ontario.

To ensure that the needs of families drive the design of online family law services, the Winkler Institute conducted public engagements by speaking with family justice sector participants such as litigants, court staff, legal professionals and judges. The goal was to gather first-hand user experiences to better understand how to help those with family law problems navigate the system.

The information collected during this project resulted in ideas that could inform the development of a product, technology or process that would have direct positive impact on access to family justice in Ontario.

Public engagements took place at a number of locations across the province in the summer of 2017.

There was also an opportunity for the public to participate through an online engagement process.

A full report on the findings of the project was released in September 2018.