JFCY v JG [young person’s right to legal advice]
Court: Divisional Court Branch, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 2020
In December of 2019, the father of JFCY’s fourteen and a half year old client (“the child”) urgently sought and was granted a restraining order preventing JFCY from communicating with our client, effectively terminating our solicitor-client relationship.
The child was not a party to the child protection proceeding that was before the Court, and was not seeking to participate in the litigation. JFCY has been retained by the client to assist him outside of the Court’s proceedings.
JFCY, on appeal to the Divisional Court, sought to remove the restraining order, was successful. The Court confirmed that children have the right to seek and receive independent legal advice absent parental consent. The Court noted the proper role of legal assistance for children is empowerment which is consistent with their best interests and the proper administration of justice.
The father sought leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal and JFCY responded to the father’s application in 2021. We await the Court’s decision about whether they will grant leave and hear the appeal.
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