Class Notes (806,820)
Canada (492,456)
Criminology (2,095)
CRIM 135 (159)


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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 135
Graeme Bowbrick

Provincial Court of BC: - Vast majority of criminal trials happen in this court - Small claims division is civil jurisdiction (people sue each other) - If claim less than $25,000 then claim in provincial court - If claim more than $25,000 then claim in supreme court - Family division deals with relationship breakdowns (child custody, child support, spousal support) - Does not deal with divorce orders, no property issues (supreme court) - Can deal with child protection - Young offender (age 12 to 17) hearing happens in provincial courts Supreme Court of BC: - Provincial superior court - Trial court - Hears appeals from provincial court - Has very broad jurisdiction - Inherent jurisdiction: its jurisdiction is inherent -> exists as a court, thus has control over a large amount of matters (any issue arising in BC can be heard by supreme court, unless it is specifically assigned by statute to another court) - Certain cases which only go to supreme court - No jury trial in provincial court, so jury trial must be held in supreme court - Supreme court has authority for divorce, slandering, etc Appeal Court of BC: - Appellant court - Responsible government is same as supreme court, established by provincial court, judges appointed by judges - Hears appeals from BC supreme court - Hears reference cases (extremely rare) Federal Court of Canada: - Federal superior court - Trial court - Responsible government: entirely federal, section 101 - Jurisdiction is limited to certain specified areas of federal jurisdiction (immigration cases, intellectual property law) - Pales in comparison to BC supreme court and other supreme courts Federal Court of Appeal: - Federal superior court - Appeal court - Hears appeals from federal court of Canada, and other federal courts (tax courts) Supreme Court of Canada: - Entirely federal, all under section 101 - Jurisdiction: hears appeals from courts of appeals below it (11 courts of appeal) - Also hears reference cases - If supreme courts hears 80 to 100 appeals a year, and hears 1 reference case once every 5 years - Reference case is not an appeal, not regular court case nd - Appeal is legal conflict, and gets appealed, when gets to Supreme Court, it is on its 2 appeal or 3 appeal - References do not involve conflict with parties, government takes legal issue and refers them in writing and asks court to give opinion - Decision of Supreme Court is an advisory opinion on reference cases - Court issues opinion, not a decision, not a precedent (no stare decisis), only supreme court can do references for federal government; BC court of appeal can do reference for BC government - Advisory opinion has persuasive authority - References look like real cases, have parties that argue, but end decision is an opinion - References are rarely done - References have the potential to be abused by governments - Final court of appeal of Canada since 1949 nd - Before 1949, supreme court of Canada was 2 last stop, the judicial Privy council was the last appeal court in London - 9 judges (justices) in supreme court - 3 from Quebec (legal requirement), 3 from Ontario (tradition), 1 from maritime (tradition), 1 from prairie (tradition), 1 from BC (tradition) - Quebec doesn’t use common law, it uses private law (Quebec civil code) - Justices trained in the civil code system - Justices are forced to retire at 75 - US don’t have mandatory retirement - BC justice is chief justice in supreme court at the moment - Appeal courts always have more than 1 judge sitting and deciding a case (panel of judges) - Typical panel of judges at supreme court is 9 - Not a given that you can appeal to supreme court -> need a leave of the court (permission) -
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