Presentation on theme: "+ The Criminal Court System. + Today... Criminal courts are complex administrative organizations. They oversee the entire process of prosecuting criminal."— Presentation transcript:
+ Today... Criminal courts are complex administrative organizations. They oversee the entire process of prosecuting criminal offences and ensuring that the trial is conducted in accordance with the principle of fairness. Look at figure 7.2 on page 163 outlining the Canadian criminal court structure. The provincial court system consists of the provincial courts and the superior courts of the province. The provincial courts have trials while the superior courts have both trials and appeals.
+ Provincial Court System Provincial courts are the lowest level in the hierarchy of Canadian courts. Constituted under provincial statutes with judges appointed by the provincial government. Cases are tried by a judge, not a jury. Each province divides this courts into separate divisions, which can include criminal court, youth justice court, family court, and small claims court.
+ Criminal Division See figure 7.5 on page 166 outlining procedures in criminal cases Hears summary conviction offences (less serious crimes) and indictable offences (more serious crimes). Also tries municipal bylaw and provincial statutes. This court conducts preliminary hearings to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to put the accused person on trial. This serves as a screening process and protects the accused person for an unnecessary trial; also protects the crown and public from the expense of an unnecessary trial.
+ Superior Court of the Province An appeal, an application to a higher court to review the decision made by a lower court, from the Provincial Court regarding a summary conviction offence is heard by a single judge of the Superior Court. This court is the highest level of the provincial criminal and civil court system. Consists of a trial division and an appeal division. Has jurisdiction in both criminal and civil matters above those of the lower level courts. Can hear all offences in s. 469 of the Code. These offences must be tried by a judge and jury unless the accused person and the provincial Attorney General consent to trial by judge alone.
+ Superior Court of the Province See figure 7.4 on page 165 Appeals from this court are heard in the Superior Court, Appeal Division. 3-5 judges hear these cases and the appeal is won or lost based on the majority decision of the judges. May also try offences in s. 554 of the Code in which the accused may choose (or elect) the mode of trial. Tried by judge alone in Provincial or Superior Court Tried by judge and jury in Superior Court These offences include breaking and entering, robbery, and attempted murder.
+ Federal Court System Has a trial division and an appeals division. In the trial division, has the jurisdiction to try civil claims involving the federal government. Can hear appeals from federally appointed boards, commissions, and administrative tribunals (Immigration Appeal Board and the National Parole Board).
+ Supreme Court of Canada The highest court in the country. Consists of a chief justice and eight justices, all of whom are appointed by the federal government. By law, 3 judges must come from Quebec. By tradition, 3 come from Ontario, 2 from Western Canada, and 1 from the Atlantic Provinces. The court sits in Ottawa for three sessions a year: winter, spring, and fall. Depending on the cases, they are heard by a panel of 5, 7, or nine justices.
+ Supreme Court of Canada Strictly an appeals court as there is no trial division. Generally, the Supreme Court grants leave, or permission to appeal, only for matters of national significance or when decisions conflict in the provincial appeals courts. The federal government may ask the Supreme Court of Canada to provide advice or to rule on specific matters relating to constitutional issues or other federal matters.
+ Other Courts Tax Court of Canada – Primarily responsible for hearing cases dealing with income tax matters. Appeals are heard by the Federal Court of Canada. Court Martial Appeal Court – Hears appeals from courts martial in the Armed Forces. Judges are not members of the military but are usually appointed from provincial superior courts or from the Federal Court of Canada.