An Evaluation of Alberta’s Family Law Act

From: Children and the Law


An evaluation involving legislative review, caseflow and outcomes analysis, survey of professionals, and interviews with self-represented litigants to assess procedural and substantive changes in non-divorce matters in Alberta family law since 2005.



Leslie D. MacRae

Leslie D. MacRae holds a BA (First Class Honours) in Sociology from the University of Calgary and an MA in Sociology from Queen’s University. Ms MacRae has been a member of the staff at Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF) for six years, first as a research associate, then as Coordinator of Alberta-Based Research Projects. With the CRILF team, she has conducted numerous studies relating to law and family during her time at CRILF, among them the evaluation of Alberta’s Family Law Act.

Shane D. Simpson

Shane D. Simpson is currently a research analyst in the Office of Institutional Analysis and Planning at Mount Royal University. He received a BA (Honours) in Sociology and a BS in Psychology from the University of Ottawa, and an MA in Sociology from Queen’s University. Prior to Mount Royal, he held a research position at the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, where he worked on the evaluation of Alberta’s Family Law Act.
Joanne J. Paetsch has been the administrator for the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family since its establishment in 1987. Ms Paetsch obtained her BA in Psychology (with Distinction) from the University of Calgary in 1996. In addition to her administrative duties, she is also a research associate, spending approximately half her time on project development and research activities.

Joanne J. Paetsch

Lorne D. Bertrand is the senior research associate for the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF). Dr. Bertrand obtained his BA (First Class Honours), MA (with Distinction), and PhD degrees in Social Psychology from Carleton University in Ottawa. Prior to coming to CRILF in 1993, he completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Psychology Department at the University of Calgary, followed by research positions at Calgary Health Services and the Alberta Lung Association.

Lorne D. Bertrand

Sheryl Pearson is a lawyer and a social worker who practises as an independent law and policy consultant. She has expertise in the areas of legal representation of children, family law, child protection, vulnerable adults and the law, lobbying legislation, and administrative processes. Formerly a lawyer with Emery Jamieson LLP and legal counsel for the Alberta Law Reform Institute, she now assists clients by designing and implementing consultation processes, reviewing legislation, engaging in policy and data analysis, drafting policy, and designing and leading training sessions on specific topics.

Sheryl Pearson

Joseph P. Hornick is the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF). Since completing his PhD at the University of Waterloo in 1975, Dr. Hornick has worked in academic, government, private sector, and social service settings. He became the founding director of CRILF in 1987, and since that time has focused on applied research, particularly program evaluation, legislative evaluation, and policy research, and has co-authored over 100 publications. His major areas of interest and expertise are family policy, young offenders, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, victimization, and community policing.