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Provincial Court (Province A) Provincial Court (Province B) Federal Court (Trial Court) Tax Court Supreme Court (Trial Court) Court of Queen’s Bench.

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Presentation on theme: "Provincial Court (Province A) Provincial Court (Province B) Federal Court (Trial Court) Tax Court Supreme Court (Trial Court) Court of Queen’s Bench."— Presentation transcript:



3 Provincial Court (Province A) Provincial Court (Province B) Federal Court (Trial Court) Tax Court Supreme Court (Trial Court) Court of Queen’s Bench (Trial Court) Court of Appeal (Province A) Court of Appeal (Province B) Federal Court of Appeal Court Martial Appeal Court Military Courts (Various Types) Supreme Court Of Canada provincial courts superior courts courts of appeal Supreme Court of Canada

4 THE FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA The Federal Court of Canada (FCC) is essentially a superior court with civil jurisdiction. As it was created by an Act of Parliament, it can only deal with matters specified in federal statutes. The FCC is organized into a Trial Division and an Appeal Division. Its jurisdiction includes inter-provincial and federal-provincial disputes, intellectual property proceedings (e.g. copyright), citizenship appeals, Competition Act cases, and cases involving Crown corporations or departments of the Government of Canada. FCC can review decisions, orders and other administrative actions of federal boards, commissions and tribunals.

5 PROVINCIAL COURTS Each province and territory has a provincial court. These courts hear cases involving either federal or provincial laws. Note: The names and divisions of these courts may vary from place to place, but their role is the same. Provincial courts deal with most criminal offences, family law matters (except divorce), young offenders (from 12 to 17 years old), traffic violations, provincial regulatory offences, and claims involving money, up to a certain amount (set by the province in question). Private disputes involving limited sums of money may also be dealt with at this level in Small Claims courts. In addition, all preliminary inquiries – hearings to determine whether there is enough evidence to justify a full trial in serious criminal cases – take place before the provincial courts.

6 PROVINCIAL/TERRITORIAL SUPERIOR COURTS Each province and territory has superior courts. These courts are known by various names, including Superior Court of Justice, Supreme Court, High Court of Justice, and Court of Queen’s Bench. The superior courts have “inherent jurisdiction,” which means that they can hear cases in any area except those that are specifically limited to a lower court. The superior courts try the most serious criminal and civil cases, including divorce cases and cases that involve large amounts of money (the minimum is set by the province in question).

7 COURTS OF APPEAL Each province and territory has a court of appeal or appellate division that hears appeals from decisions of the superior courts AND provincial courts. The number of judges on these courts may vary from one province to another, but a court of appeal usually sits as a panel of three.

8 Prior to 1982, the Supreme Court of Canada’s role was largely to resolve jurisdictional issues between the federal and provincial governments (s.91 and s.92 disputes) Since 1982, the Court’s scope has been expanded to include the violation of Charter rights All government enacted legislation, regulations, policies etc. must comply with Charter Protects civil rights of all Canadians

9 Provinces have jurisdiction over appointment of judges and justices of the peace for provincial and small claims courts. Federal government appoints provincial Superior Court Justices, and Federal Court Justices. SCC Justices are appointed by the Governor General.

10 Final Court of Appeal for all of Canada Final advisor to Federal government regarding Constitution esp. Charter of Rights and Freedoms

11 SCC has jurisdiction to hear appeals in all areas of law. Court must grant permission to hear case (“granting leave to appeal”) Provincial and Federal governments may “refer questions” directly to the SCC, bypassing the usual appeal process [e.g. David Milgaard Conviction reference (1991)]

12 There are nine Justices appointed by the Governor General in Council (Cabinet and GG). There is one Chief Justice of Canada and eight other Justices ~ 3 are currently women. Justices hold office until the age of 75. Justices are chosen from Superior Court or barristers with at least 10 years in good standing at the Bar of a province or territory. The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada Credit : Paul Couvrette, photographer Supreme Court of Canada Collection See her interview at:

13 All justices are appointed by the federal government. 3 Justices must be from Quebec Traditionally….. 3 are from Ontario 2 are from Western provinces 1 is from Maritimes A quorum of 5 Justices is required to rule on a case All nine Justices required to hear constitutional cases.

14 The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or any aspect of the Constitution, will be applied to Canadian society in the manner determined by the Supreme Court of Canada. Only a constitutional amendment may alter a Supreme Court decision. The independence of the judiciary in Canada is guaranteed by the Constitution.

15 Typical Criticisms of the SCC: 1.It transfers final legislative authority away from our elective representatives. 2.It places too much emphasis on individual rights. 3.It challenges authority of the courts and at times allows guilty parties to go unpunished.

16 Read pages 145-153 of the textbook and answer questions 1- 6 on page 153. Also complete questions on page 148 pertaining to issue regarding appointing judges, and Q’s 1-3 of “The Two Michaels” case on the top of page 153.

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