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Lecture examines children’s interests in domestic violence cases

Posted: November 4, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Nicholas Bala of Queen’s University is speaking at the 2016 Dr. Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies Lecture, entitled “Domestic Violence: The Challenge of Taking Account of the Interests of Children.”
Nicholas Bala of Queen’s University is speaking at the 2016 Dr. Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies Lecture, entitled “Domestic Violence: The Challenge of Taking Account of the Interests of Children.” Photo courtesy of Greg Black

The complicated and emotionally-charged issue of family violence presents ongoing challenges for Canadian law enforcement and for the justice system says Nicholas Bala, professor in the faculty of law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

The police, the courts, and other agencies must balance their own concerns and professional duties with, among other things, the rights of the accused, and the needs and security of victims and their families.

Professor Bala is a leading Canadian expert on legal issues related to children, youth, and families in the justice system.

His research has involved collaborative work with various justice system participants – including psychologists, social workers, criminologists and health professionals – to better understand the impacts of justice system involvement on families and children.

On the evening of November 7 he will present the 2016 Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies Lecture, entitled “Domestic Violence: The Challenge of Taking Account of the Interests of Children.”

“Too often, our justice system has simplistic and ultimately ineffective approaches to family violence cases,” says Bala.  

An unfortunate effect, he explains, is that the best interests of children are often ignored.

“Children are clearly harmed by being exposed to violence between their parents, but even if there is violence they will often benefit from having a relationship with both parents. Too often the justice system fails to adequately recognize the needs and views of children,” he says.   

Bala’s lecture will consider the thorny issue of domestic violence in all of its complexity, with a focus on safeguarding the interests of children.

He will discuss his ongoing research into programs designed to do just that, by improving coordination between the multiple justice system actors and agencies who deal with domestic violence.

The lecture is supported by a generous contribution from the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan.

The U of R’s faculty of arts Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies examines issues of direct relevance to policing Saskatchewan. It brings in experts in the field of criminal justice to the U of R to deliver the annual Dr. Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies Lecture. Past speakers have included Correctional Investigator of Canada Howard Sapers, and noted forensic entomologist Dr. Gail Anderson.    

Event:   The Dr. Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies Lecture.
Date:    Monday, November 7
Time:    5:00 p.m.
Venue:  Luther College Auditorium, University of Regina

This is a free public lecture and free parking is available. For full details please visit the event website here.