Category Archives: Empathy

More Lessons from the Therapy Dog

Two years ago I published a piece on slaw.ca entitled Seeing (And Feeling) the Family Justice System Through the Eyes of the Therapy Dog about Ollie the therapy dog who visited the Kamloops courthouse on “family remand day”. One comment on that post really stuck in my mind.  It was from a family lawyer who […]

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Collaborating with our Northern Ireland Colleagues on Human-Centred Design

In the summer of 2019, the Lab received a very warm invitation to work with a group from Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Led by Professor Gráinne McKeever, the group was eager to use a human-centred design process as part of their research project to create and test supports for litigants in person (“LIPS”) in […]

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How is our family justice system like a flashlight on a dark night?

This recent blog post from IAALS (Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System) caught my eye and my imagination. It begins by noting the 2016 Cases Without Counsel study (Note 1) which highlighted the struggle of people trying to navigate the family justice system without their own lawyer and includes the following comment […]

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Through the Eye of a Fish: The importance of empathy

The BC Family Justice Innovation Lab employs an approach we call “systemic human-centred design”.  The first phase of the model is “discovery” of the experiences of the users (the people the system is intended to serve), in our case the human beings who are involved in separation and divorce in BC.  We have written before […]

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Using Human-Centred Design in Youth Voices Initiative

This article is re-posted from our recent contribution to Slaw dot ca, Canada’s wonderful national online legal magazine. The BC Family Justice Innovation Lab is focusing on improving the well-being of BC families and children experiencing separation and divorce. One of its ‘home-grown’ initiatives is called “Youth Voices” as it focuses on the experience and […]

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Youth Voices Workshop January 28 2018 – Brief Update

We held our sensemaking and ideation workshop on the Youth Voices Initiative on January 28, 2018.  We will be publishing more detailed information in this page soon but, in the meantime, we are excited to share some of the tools we used for the workshop in case they are useful for other designers. First, huge […]

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Youth Voices Narrative Workshop – Output and Observations

In our February post we promised to provide more details about some of the insights coming out of the Youth Voices Workshop in January.  I believe it is too early for true “insights” – they will come from the next stage of our work (discovery). However, I can report on the actual output from the […]

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The link between social system change and human behaviour

In New Zealand, mediation is mandatory for families before they seek the assistance of the court for parenting arrangements arising from separation and divorce.  Policy and legislation was introduced in 2014 to require mediation because of well-established evidence that mediation was more affordable, faster and produced better outcomes for families than the court system.  A […]

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Public engagement – the parable of the turtle

Previous posts have tackled the important question of why engaging with system users (in our case BC families experiencing separation and divorce) is critical to effective justice reform.  Some may continue to believe that this is an unnecessary step since system professionals (judges, lawyers, government policy people, academics etc.) have all of the knowledge and […]

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Youth Voices Narrative Workshop: Some Early Insights

On January 22, 2017 we gathered with a very courageous group of young adults who were willing to share stories about their experience of the parents’ divorce. This was the first step of our Youth Voices Initiative which is using a human-centred design process to maintain or improve the well-being of children faced with separation […]

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