Parental Alienation in Quebec Custody Litigation

Parental Alienation in Quebec Custody Litigation

Parental Alienation in Quebec Custody Litigation

Parental Alienation in Quebec Custody Litigations

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Référence bibliographique [20210]

Zaccour, Suzanne. 2017. «Parental Alienation in Quebec Custody Litigation». Mémoire de maîtrise, Toronto, Université de Toronto, Département de droit.

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
«This thesis is a study of all Quebec custody cases dealing with parental alienation in 2016. It explores the definitions, findings and implications of parental alienation [PA] in legal disputes, in light of the models of parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome described in the academic literature.» (p. ii)

Questions/Hypothèses :
«The exploration of the jurisprudence is guided by the following research questions: […] How is PA defined in PA jurisprudence? Does its definition in law correspond to one or several definitions in the literature? Do judges focus on the child or on the alienator? […] Is PAS [parental alienation syndrome] still used in Quebec jurisprudence, or has it been entirely replaced by PA? Are there disputes over the admissibility and the scientific validity of PA or PAS evidence? […] How do the controversies regarding the consequences of PA and the required interventions translate into the jurisprudence? […] How is PA proven in court? Do alienators exhibit relentless programming or trivial flaws? Which type of threshold is used to distinguish conflict from alienation? What is the role of false sexual assault allegations or allegations of violence in proving PA?» (p. 14)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
«The study is based on [194] decisions identified in the database SOQUIJ [Société québécoise d’information juridique].» (p. 13)

Type de traitement des données :
Réflexion critique

3. Résumé

«In the last thirty years, the concept of parent-child alienation has generated significant interest in the legal, psychological, and political spheres. Every aspect of this concept, from its name to its definition, prevalence, and remedies, is deeply contested. As controversies rage in the academic sphere and political arena, parental alienation (“PA”) and parental alienation syndrome (“PAS”) have made their way into custody litigation. The use – or misuse – of alienation evidence in United States courts has been documented. However, research on PA litigation in Canada is still scarce.» (p. 1) «This research confirms feminists’ scepticism towards the use of parental alienation in custody litigation. It concludes that alienation has varying and inconsistent definitions in law, that there is a considerable disconnect between the state of the research in science and judges’ knowledge on alienation, and that the concept of parental alienation in law is ambiguous and over-inclusive, seemingly to the detriment of mothers. There is a dire need for clearer and stricter guidelines on the use of parental alienation in Quebec jurisprudence to ensure its accuracy, coherence, and fairness.» (p. ii)