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Multicultural Accommodation and Ontario Family Law: Navigating Forums, Actors and Transnational Marriage Breakdowns

Preet Kaur Virdi, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Law and Society, John Jay College @ CUNY

Published April 19, 2018, by Technologies of Justice.

At the Technologies of Justice Conference session titled The State's Role in The Lives of Children and Families, Preet Kaur Virdi presents a talk on multicultural accommodation and Ontario family law. Preet's discussion focuses on navigating forums, actors and transnational marriage breakdowns. The conference took place from January 26 to 27, 2018 at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.



Kaur Virdi presented on access to justice in family law concerning ethnic minorities. She explained the difference between access to law versus access to justice, and how one does not always equal the other. She focused specifically on the case of Punjabi Sikhs, and the enhancing access to justice in Canadian law, citing the role of public values in private settings (considering family law as a more private branch of law). She showed how there is a lack of reference to religious mediation as well as information or knowledge on issues of immigration, diaspora norms and marriage in other cultures. She highlighted the complexities of adjudicating minority family law matters in an increasingly diverse society, and how courts often show hesitation when entering the religious thicket. She talked about how the issues remain at a fundamental level when it comes to bringing justice to family law regarding ethnic and religious minorities.