The Latest Family Law Case from the SCC: Is Confidentiality in Family Mediations Absolute?

  • 21 janvier 2022
  • Kathy Batycky

In December 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada released a decision regarding confidentiality in family mediations. Although it was a case from Quebec, which has some specific rules related to family mediations, it may still have a huge impact on family mediations across Canada.

In Association de médiation familiale du Québec v Bouvier2021 SCC 54 (CanLII), the Supreme Court of Canada reviews the issue of confidentiality and the concept of settlement privilege in the context of family mediation (as opposed to civil or commercial mediation).

In this case, the common law couple participated in family mediation with a certified mediator, to resolve their disputes arising out of their separation. The Quebec rules on mandatory mediation prohibit lawyers from being present in the mediation sessions. The mediation contract signed by the parties included the following terms: