About the Legal Issues of FASD Consensus Development Conference

18 – 20 September 2013
Edmonton, Alberta

Alcohol can hurt the brain and body of an unborn baby and cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a serious lifelong condition that impacts both the individual and their family. A child with FASD becomes an adult with FASD, facing birth defects, developmental and learning delays and social, educational, and employment challenges.

Download Consensus Statement

IHE held the first-ever Consensus Development Conference on Legal Issues of FASD September 18 – 20, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta. This conference, with its unique and compelling "jury trial" format, examined the following questions:

  1. What are the implications of FASD for the legal system?
  2. Is there a need for enhanced efforts to identify people with FASD, and how can these efforts be achieved?
  3. How can the criminal justice system respond more effectively to those with FASD?
  4. How can family courts and the family/child welfare legal system address the specific needs of people with FASD?
  5. What are the best practices for guardianship, trusteeship and social support in a legal context?
  6. What legal measures are there in different jurisdictions to contribute to the prevention of FASD, and what are the ethical and economic implications of these measures?

The Honourable Ian Binnie, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, led a distinguished jury of citizens and experts in developing a Consensus Statement with recommendations for policy and law based on these questions.

The Honourable Marguerite Trussler, Chair of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and former Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench chaired the Steering Committee on Alberta FASD Initiatives, which oversaw the development of the conference, as well as the First International Conference on Prevention of FASD.

IHE also organized the First International Conference on Prevention of FASD, 23 – 25 September 2013


Reflections from the Conference

Jury Chair: The Honourable Ian Binnie, C.C., Q.C, Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

Myles Himmelreich, Motivational Speaker

Presenter: Fia Jampolsky, Chair, Yukon Human Rights Commission; Lawyer, Cabott and Cabott, Whitehorse

Jury Member: Donald Langford, Director of Metis Child and Family Services Society