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MESA's Submission to the Justice Summit: The Judiciary

Issue Recommendation
Judicial Education
  • Judges are given false information as part of their "education" in judicial bias seminars.
  • Revisit the material in Judicial bias seminars. Recognize the long-standing, historical discrimination against fathers in child custody law.
Custody
  • Judges overwhelmingly favour women in custody decisions, according to a study completed by the Department of Justice in 1989.
  • Create a program of affirmative action in custody decisions to help fathers raise their children post-divorce.
  • Add material to the judicial bias seminars to reflect the difficulties faced by fathers and the costs of being a non-custodial parent.
Child Support
  • Child Support Formulas, developed without fathers' input, are unbalanced, prevent or reduce access by economic means. There is no recognition of non-custodial parents costs. Judges exasperate the situation by treating these formulas as the bare minimum, when they are an exaggeration.
  • Measure and publish judgment results on child support, by income and gender.
  • Establish a "citizen judicial review board" to evaluate judge performance and conduct.
Sentencing
  • Judges routinely sentence men more harshly than women for the same crimes. The Joudrie, Tran, Homolka cases are some of the more well known examples.
  • Measure and publish sentencing results
  • Establish a "citizen judicial review board" to evaluate judge performance and conduct.
Ex Parte Orders
  • Judges routinely grant ex-parte orders that throw men out of their homes or cut them out of their children's lives based solely on unsubstantiated testimony by an estranged spouse.
  • Measure and publish statistics on all ex-parte orders
  • Establish a "citizen judicial review board" to evaluate judge performance and conduct.
Cost and Accessibility of Legal System Allow video and audio taping of court proceedings by litigants, to make the examination of testimony easier.