Madam Justice Robyn M. Diamond
Graduated from University of Manitoba Law School, 1975, called to the Manitoba Bar 1976.
1982, appointed the first Director of the newly created Family Law Branch of the Attorney General’s Department until appointment to the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, Family Division, 1989.
Member of National Justice Child Support Advisory Committee (Justice Canada) and Federal Spousal Support Guidelines National Advisory Working Group on Family Law.
October 2006, appointed by Canadian Judicial Council as one of two Canadian judges on Special Committee on International Child Protection forming part of the International Network of Judges. In that capacity, regularly facilitates direct judicial communications between Canadian and International Network judges on matters relating to the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention.
April 2007, appointed Chair of Canadian Network of Contact Judges for international and inter-jurisdictional cases of child protection. Since that time chaired 12 meetings of this Network and oversaw initiatives to expedite the handling of inter-jurisdictional child protection cases including development of procedural protocols to expedite matters through the court system and development of direct judicial communication guidelines.
Involved in the development of the National Judicial Institute of Canada’s (NJI) training module entitled “Educational Module on Cross-Border Child Abduction and Other Relocation Issues”, has co-chaired presentations of this module to courts throughout Canada.
Co-author of the NJI’s Hague Convention Electronic Bench Book which is available for Canadian and International judges. Presently there are judges from 19 countries that have accessed this EBB.
Since 2000, attended a number of international child protection conferences as a member of the Canadian delegation, including the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Special Commissions on the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention that were held in the Hague, Netherlands in March of 2001, October/November 2006, June 2011 and January 2012.
Presented on international child protection issues at a number of conferences including:
· NJI Conference on the 1980 Hague Convention, La Malbaie, Quebec, July 2004,
· 44th International Annual Conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Washington, D.C., May 2007,
· Joint European Commission and Hague Conference on Private International Law in Brussels, Belgium, January 2009,
· German National Judges Institute’s German/American Family Law Conference, Berlin, Germany, June 2009,
· Common Law/Commonwealth Conference in London, England, August 2009,
· 5th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 2009,
· series of meetings with officials, lawyers and academics arranged by the Canadian Ambassador to Japan in May 2010, Tokyo, Japan,
· Canadian-Irish Family Law Judicial Conference, Ireland, October 2010,
· American Bar Association Section of International Family Law Conference, Washington, D.C., May 2012,
· 49th International AFCC Conference, Chicago, June 2012,
· International Family Justice Judicial Conference, Hong Kong, August, 2012,
· Sixth World Conference on Family Law and Children’s Rights, Sydney, Australia, March 2013,
· University of Otago Law School, Dunedin, New Zealand, April 2013,
· Second International Family Law Conference, London, England, 2013,
· Meeting of the International Hague Network of Judges, Windsor, England, July 2013,
· International Association of Women Judges Conference, Arusha, Tanzania, May 2014,
· Judicial Officers Pre-Institute at the 51st Annual AFCC, Toronto, May 2014,
· Judicial lead on five week on-line Hague Child Abduction Seminar March – April 2015 involving approximately 30 judges from 5 countries.
Written papers on international child protection, many of which have been published.
The Development and Evolution of Judicial Settlement Conferences: Court of Queen's Bench, Family Court, Manitoba
This presentation will provide the history of the development and evolution of the Case Management system (Judicially Assisted Dispute Resolution) that has taken place in the Court of Queen’s Bench, Family Division of Manitoba (Unified Family Court) over the last two decades.
In November of 1995, the Court launched a two year pilot project whereby 10% of all family cases were randomly selected to enter the Case Management process. After a positive evaluation in 1998, the project was expanded to include 20% of cases that were randomly selected. By November 1, 2002, 100% of family cases entered the mandatory Case Management Program.
In 2012, in recognition for the need to improve access to justice in the context of principles of proportionality, the Court created a committee that was given the task of strengthening and enhancing the Case Management system. This Court driven initiative was eventually expanded to include members of the Family Section of the Manitoba Bar. This resulted in a significant overhaul of the Queen’s Bench Rules as they affect case conferencing. These new Rules will become effective on November 1, 2015, exactly 20 years after the launch of the pilot project.
The evolution of the role of a family court judge from the traditional role as an adjudicator to becoming a mediator, collaborator, conflict manager and dispute resolver will be addressed along with the importance of training for judges that gives them the necessary skills to preside over settlement conferences.
The presentation will conclude with an overview of the new Rules and Practices.