Faculty of Law

Queen's University
Search Type
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

Nicholas C. Bala

L.S.M., B.A. (Toronto), J.D. (Queen's), LL.M. (Harvard) 

Faculty of Law
Queen's University
Kingston Ontario
K7L 3N6
tel: (613) 533-6000, ext. 74275
fax: (613) 533-6509
e-mail: bala@queensu.ca

Teaching Subjects

  • Family Law
  • Contracts
  • Advanced Family Law
  • Children's Law
  • Family and Children’s Law Placements

Recent Professional Achievements

  • Co-author of recent reports for government of Canada on family violence, child witnesses in the criminal justice system, and parental relocation after separation.
  • Frequently presenting to professional groups on issues relating to family and children's law, for such organizations as National Judicial Institute, Federation of Law Societies, Ontario Bar Association and Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Three times winner of Law Students Society teaching award
  • Ontario Bar Association, Award for Excellence in Family Law, 2009
  • Law Society Medal, 2009
  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 2013
  • Principal investigator of interdisciplinary group of researchers on child witness issues with funding from Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, 1999 - 2014
  • Principal investigator of interdisciplinary group of researchers on improving access and outcomes in the family justice system with funding from Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, 2014 -2019.•    Work cited by all levels of court in Canada, including 29 times by the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as courts in the United States, Great Britain and Australia.

Current Research

I am currently working on several projects in the Family and Children's law field.  Most of these projects have interdisciplinary aspects, and I do collaborative research with psychologists, social workers and criminologists.   I am presently Principal Investigator on a project studying access to the family justice, including issues related to self-represented litigants, the representation and interviewing of children, and use of experts in family cases.  I am also continuing to do research on the youth justice system, and concurrent family and criminal proceedings in cases involving domestic violence.

A number of my recent projects have international or comparative aspects, and I have done work with justice system professionals and scholars in a number of countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong.   One present project involves work with the Secretariat of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.

I am a member of a number of committees and Boards of organizations in the family justice and Children’s Law field, including Legal Aid Ontario, the Ontario Youth Justice Advisory Board, the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, and the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family.

I also continue to do work on Contract Law. I am the co-editor of casebook used by first year law students at a number of Canadian law schools, including Queen's; we are working on a new edition for the 2015-16 academic year.

Recent Publications


  • Swan, Reiter & Bala, Contracts: Cases, Notes & Materials (8th edit.; Butterworths, Toronto, 2010)
  • Bala & Anand, Youth Criminal Justice Law(3rd edit), Toronto, Irwin Law, 2012.
  • Fidler, Bala & Saini, Children Resisting Post-Separation Contact: A Differential Approach for Legal and Mental Professionals (Oxford University Press, New York: 2012)
  • Fidler, Bala & Hurwitz, Best Practice Guide: Emotional Abuse and Parent-Child Contact Problems in High Conflict Separations (Toronto High Conflict Forum, 2013)

Reports for Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations

  • Bala, Paetsch, Bertrand & Thomas, Testimonial Support Provisions for Children and Vulnerable Adults (Bill C-2):Case Law Review & Perceptions of the Judiciary (Justice Canada, 2011)
  • Fidler, Bala & Saini, Alienation After Separation: Review of Evidence, Debates and Future Directions (Justice Canada, 2011).
  • Hornick & Bala, A Study of The Historical Evolution of Federal Family Justice Policy In Canada From 1985 to 2011 (Justice Canada, 2011).
  • Bala, Bertrand, Wheeler, Paetsch & Holder, A Study of Post-Separation/Divorce Parental Relocation (Justice Canada, 2012).
  • Bala & Kehoe, Concurrent Legal Proceedings in Cases of Family Violence: The Child Protection Perspective (Justice Canada, 2013).
  • Semple & Bala, Reforming the Family Justice System: An Evidence Based Approach (Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, Ontario Chapter, 2013).


  • Bala, A. Evans & E. Bala, Hearing the Voices of Children in Canadas Criminal Justice System: Recognizing Capacity and Facilitating Testimony (2010), 22 Child & Family Law Quarterly 21-45.
  • Bala, S.Hunt & C.McCarney, "Parental Alienation: Canadian Court Cases 1989-2008" (2010), 48 Family Court Review 162-177.
  • Fidler &  Bala, Children Resisting Post-Separation Contact With a Parent: Concepts, Controversies and Conundrums (2010), 48 Family Court Review 10-47.
  • Birnbaum & Bala, "Towards the Differentiation of ‘High Conflict' Families: An Analysis of Social Science Research and Canadian Case Law" (2010), 48:3 Family Court Review 403-416
  • Bala, "Why Canada's Prohibition of Polygamy is Constitutionality Valid and Sound Social Policy" (2010), 25 Canadian Journal of Family Law 165-221.
  • Bala, Lee, Lindsay, Talwar, "The Competency of Children to Testify: Psychological Research Informing Canadian Law Reform" (2010), 18(1) International Journal of Children's Rights 53-77.
  • Bala, Birnbaum & Martinson, "Differentiated Case Management for Family Cases: 'One Judge for One Family'" (2011), 26 Canadian Journal of Family Law 339-394.
  • Birnbaum, Bala & Cyr, "Children's Experiences with Family Justice Professionals in Ontario and Ohio" (2011), 25 International Journal Law, Policy and the Family 398-422.
  • Bala & Ashbourne, "The Widening Concept of 'Parent' in Canada: Step-Parents, Same-Sex Partners & Parents by ART" (2012), 20 American University Journal of Social Policy & the Law 525-560.
  • Evans, Brunet, Lee, Talwar, Bala & Lindsay, "The Effects of Repetition on Children's True and False Reports," (2012) Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.
  • Birnbaum & Bala, "Views of Ontario Lawyers on Family Litigrants without Representation" (2012), 63 University of New Brunswick Law Journal 99-124.
  • Bala & Wheeler, "Canadian Relocation Cases: Heading Towards Guidelines" (2012), 30 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 271-320.
  • Bala & Gordon, “Kids and Cash: Interconnections of Child-Related and Economic Issues in Family Proceedings”(2012), 31 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 309-353.
  • Bala & Leckey, “The Charter and Family Law – The First Three Decades:  A Delayed but Profound Impact” (2013), 32 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 21-52.
  • Bala, “Moving Closer to International Relocation Advisory Guidelines” [2013]  International Family Law 47-50.
  • Bala, Birnbaum, Cyr & McColley, “Children’s Voices in Family Court: Guidelines for Judges Meeting Children” (2013), 47 Family Law Quarterly 381-410.
  • Leckey & Bala, “Les trentes premières années de la Charte canadienne en droit de la famille” (2013), 42 Revue de Droit 409-458.
  • Saykaly, Talwar, Bala, Lindsay & Lee,  “The Influence of Multiple Interviews on the Verbal Markers of Children’s Deception” (2013), 37 Law & Human Behavior 187-196.
  • Birnbaum, Bala & Bertrand, “The Rise of Self-Representation in Canada’s Family Courts: The Complex Picture Revealed in Surveys of Judges, Lawyers and Litigants” (2013), 91 Canadian Bar Review 67-96.
  • Bala, Birnbaum & Bertrand, “Controversy about the Role Children’s Lawyers: Advocate or Best Interests Guardian? Comparing Attitudes & Practices in Alberta & Ontario – Two Provinces with Different Policies” (2013), 51 Family Court Review 681-697.
  • Saykaly, Talwar, Bala, Lee, Bertrand &Nugent, “Adults' Ability to Detect Deception of Stressful and Non-stressful Stories of Children” (2013), 19 Psychology, Crime & Law 865-879.
  • Birnbaum, Bala & Bertrand, “Judicial Interviews with Children: Attitudes and Practices of Children’s Lawyers in Canada,” [2013] New Zealand Law Review 465-482.
  • Williams, Talwar, Lindsay, Bala & Lee, “Is the Truth in Your Words? Distinguishing Children’s Deceptive and Truthful Statements,” [2014] Journal of Criminology 1-9.
  • Birnbaum & Bala, “A Survey of Canadian Judges about Their Meetings with Children: Becoming More Common But Still Contentious” (2014), 91 Canadian Bar Review 637-655.
  • Bala & Faour, "When Does Childhood End?  Canada's Lengthening Obligation to Support Adult Children" (2014), 33 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 69 - 124.
  • Bala, “Canada’s Empirically-Based Child Competency Test and its Principled Approach to Hearsay” (2014), 19 Roger Williams University Law Review 513-545.
  • Maur, Bala & Adams, "Re-Thinking Costs In Ontario Family Cases: Encouraging Parties To ‘Move Forward,’” (2014), 33 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 173 - 265.