Expand your skill set.

This 40-hour interactive course offers a comprehensive introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes in Canada, and includes optional six-hour pre-course programs for lawyers and mental health professionals interested in working as parenting coordinators.

The National Family Law Arbitration Course is provided by leading family law arbitrators, mental health professionals and academics, and is provided by videoconference over three pairs of Fridays and Saturdays spread over seven weeks.

Registration for the 2021 course is now closed. The course will be offered again in early 2022, with dates to be announced in December 2021.

Registration for the 2021 course is closed. Bookmark this page for updates on the 2022 course and additional course offerings on subjects including mediation-arbitration processes, parenting coordination, and advanced topics in the arbitration of family law disputes.

Courses in arbitration practice are available from organizations across Canada. While these courses are of a uniformly high quality, their primary focus is on the arbitration of employment, construction and other corporate and commercial disputes. Family law disputes, however, have important qualitative and quantitative differences that set them apart and demand a special approach to their management and resolution. Family law cases cannot be handled with the same off-the-shelf approach that might be used to resolve other civil cases.

The National Family Law Arbitration Course provides a complete introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes and the unique skills, processes and procedures these cases require. This course provides the opportunity to learn from senior family law lawyers with established arbitration practices in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario in an interactive remote learning environment. Senator Murray Sinclair will also discuss Indigenous traditions and the arbitration of legal disputes, superior court judges from Alberta and Ontario will address the role of the court in arbitration processes, and experienced mental health professionals will explore the impacts and implications of domestic violence. Download the 2021 course syllabus.

This course includes two optional pre-course programs for those interested in practicing as parenting coordinators, one directed to lawyers and taught by mental health professionals working in the area of family breakdown, and another directed to mental health professionals and taught by seasoned family law lawyers.

Course dates

The pre-course programs for parenting coordinators ran on 15 and 16 January 2021. Download the syllabi for the program on the basics of psychology and the program on the basics of family law.

The course runs on selected Fridays and Saturdays, starting in February:

   · Day One and Day Two, 5 and 6 February 2021

   · Day Three and Day Four, 26 and 27 February 2021

   · Day Five and Day Six, 19 and 20 March 2021

Download the syllabus for the 2021 course.

Learn about our faculty and review the course curriculum.

Organizers and steering committee

The organizers of this course are John-Paul Boyd QC of John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers in Alberta and British Columbia, Lawrence Pinsky of Taylor McCaffrey LLP in Manitoba, and Lorne Wolfson of Torkin Manes in Ontario.

The members of the steering committee are Wayne Barkauskas QC, Professor Rachel Birnbaum, Tom Dart, Herschel Fogelman, Aaron Franks, Cheryl Goldhart, Stephen Grant, Arlene Henry QC, Alf Mamo, Danny Melamed, Doug Moe QC, Krysta Ostwald QC, Eugene Raponi QC, Brahm Siegel, and Bryan Smith.


The National Family Law Arbitration Course is accredited by the Law Society of British Columbia as providing 40 hours of training in family law arbitration, and the pre-course program on the basics of psychology for family law lawyers is accredited for six hours of parenting coordination training.

The course is approved by the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario and satisfies the course requirements for those seeking their FDRIO FDRP-Arb certification.

3 thoughts on “Home

  1. I am a professional accountant with a very strong interest and significant experience with family law arbitration. Am I able to access this training? Absent that, am I able to provide feedback to this training?

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