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. The objects of the Institute are 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 is an independent organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, and is 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. The Institute has been incorporated as a registered charity since 1988.


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 provides the Institute with furniture, accounting services and other assistance.

The Institute gratefully accepts private donations in support of our continuing work or in support of specific projects. We are a registered federal charity and are able to issue tax receipts to defray the net cost of donations. Please contact our Executive Director, John-Paul Boyd, at 403-216-0341 or, for more information about donating to the Institute.

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Annual Reports

Download the most recent Annual Report (PDF, 13MB) of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, for the 2016 fiscal year. Annual reports for previous years are also available, including the following:

· 2015 Annual Report (PDF)
· 2014 Annual Report (PDF)
· 2013 Annual Report (PDF)

Please contact our Executive Director, John-Paul Boyd, at 403-216-0341 or, if you have any questions about the Institute or our annual report.

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Articling Student Program

The Institute is able, from time to time, to host students-at-law as part of their articling period. To be eligible, students-at-law must secure articles with a qualified principal who is prepared to allow the student to work at the Institute, on a secondment basis, for a three- to six-month period. The Institute is unable to provide a salary, except in unusual cases where funding is available from a specific grant, and the student-at-law will remain under the professional liability insurance of his or her principal. Arranging articles and ensuring that employment at the Institute meets the admission requirements of the Law Society are the responsibility of the student.

Students-at-law will work on one or more legal research projects relating to law and the family, under the guidance of the Institute's Executive Director, during their time at the Institute. Each student will write a paper, to be completed during the student's secondment, summarizing the conclusions of his or her research, which will be published as a product of the Institute. The subject matter of each project will be negotiated between the student and the Executive Director.

Past Student

The Institute's most recent articled student is:

· Ms. Zoe Suche, graduate of UBC Law

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Charity Reg. No. 123695215RR0001
Copyright © 2013-2017 Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family