Child Welfare, Indigenous Parents, and Judicial Mediation

Child Welfare, Indigenous Parents, and Judicial Mediation

Child Welfare, Indigenous Parents, and Judicial Mediation

Child Welfare, Indigenous Parents, and Judicial Mediations

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Référence bibliographique [22000]

Leckey, Robert. 2022. «Child Welfare, Indigenous Parents, and Judicial Mediation ». Journal of Law and Society, vol. 49, p. 151-169.

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
«This article contributes to three bodies of literature. The first concerns the role of legal culture – Indigenous and colonial – in the resolution of child welfare issues involving Indigenous families in post-colonial states. […] The second is the international scholarship concerning access to justice and the effectiveness of legal rules and systems for Indigenous peoples generally. The third is the more specific literature within Canadian scholarship and policy on the use of ADR [alternative dispute resolution], including the role and efficacy of Quebec’s settlement conferences.» (p. 152)

Questions/Hypothèses :
This article aims to answer the following question: «Can judicial mediation within a settler state’s justice system improve the experience of dealing with child welfare services for Indigenous parents?» (p. 151)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
«[I]nterviews took place with six lawyers, four social workers, and two judges. One social worker self-identified as Métis. One participant was from Val-d’Or, with the rest from Montreal, Quebec, and their experience was mostly with Indigenous parents and children in urban settings, off reserve.» (p. 158)

Instruments :
Guide d’entretien semi-directif

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé

«The interviews presented in this article suggest a few ways in which the settlement conference might be adapted for Indigenous parents. Given resources and will, the state might provide interpreters to bridge a language gap. It might also facilitate the reassuring presence of a neutral third party from an Indigenous organization such as a Native Friendship Centre. However, there is no basis to expect that such changes would correct a fundamental power imbalance between the state’s child welfare services and a parent, and between the settler state and Indigenous peoples. In any event, it bears recollection that the possibility of the settlement conference arises only when informal efforts to resolve matters have failed. Despite its focus on child welfare services and Indigenous parents, this research also contributes to the growing literature on ADR and mediation, including Quebec’s settlement conference. It highlights the diversity of experiences within a mode of mediation. […] Furthermore, as the interviews revealed varying experiences of the province’s youth court, the article is also a reminder that there is no homogeneous experience of ‘court’ to oppose to ADR. It thus invites further scholarly attention to the range of experiences of one form of court and to the varieties across forms, such as small claims court and municipal court.» (p. 168-169)