Nicholas Bala has law degrees from Queen’s and Harvard. He has been a Professor at the Faculty of Law at Queen's University since 1980. He is also presently the Academic Director of the Osgoode Hall Law School Part-Time LLM in Family Law. He was Associate Dean at the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University for five years, and has twice won Law Student Society teaching awards. In 2006 he was the winner of the Queen’s University prize for Excellence in Research.
Professor Bala’s main area of research interest is in the area of Family and Children’s Law, dealing with such issues as juvenile justice and youth offending; child welfare law, child abuse and child witnesses in the criminal justice system; family violence; parental rights and responsibilities after divorce; and the legal definition of the family. He has published extensively on these topics, writing or co-authoring 13 books and over 125 book chapters and articles in journals of law, psychology, social work and medicine. His work is regularly cited by the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and Courts of Appeal in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
He frequently presents at continuing education programs for lawyers, doctors, police, psychologists and other professionals, as well as at academic and law reform conferences.
Professor Bala is often invited to present at education programs for judges on young offender, child witness, child welfare, family violence and divorce related issues, and has done work with the National Judicial Institute on judicial education about youth justice issues. Since 1999 he has led a SSHRC funded interdisciplinary research team that is studying child witness issues.
His first book in youth justice field was Bala & Lilles, The Young Offenders Act Annotated (1984), and he wrote Bala, Youth Criminal Justice Law (Irwin Law, 2003) just before the Y.C.J.A. came into force. He has written a number of articles about the new Act.
Professor Bala has been a consultant on youth justice and other child and family law issues to the federal government, as well as to aboriginal groups and the governments of Ontario and the Yukon. He has appeared as a witness before Parliamentary Committees dealing with youth justice reform and other issues related to family and children’s law. In February 2006 he was an expert witness at the Nova Scotia inquiry into the youth justice system (the Nunn Commission).
Professor Bala is a member of the Board of the Canadian Research Institute for Law & the Family at the University of Calgary, has served on the boards of various child and youth serving organizations, and is a volunteer at the Frontenac Youth Diversion Program.
Faculty of Law, Queen's University
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