Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (620,000)
U of G (30,000)
SOC (3,000)
Lecture 3

SOC 3730 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Supreme Court Of Canada, Supreme Court Act, Provincial Superior


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 3730
Professor
Michelle Dumas
Lecture
3

This preview shows pages 1-2. to view the full 8 pages of the document.
WEEK 3 READINGS SOC3730 CHAPTER, 3, 4 & 6
CHAPTER 3: CANADA’S COURT SYSTEM
- the basic building principles:
o 1) identify the more routine cases and those that involve less serious
possible outcomes and assign them to an accessible high-volume, low-
delay court
o 2) assign the less routine and more serious cases to a lower-volume
court that can devote more time and more focused attention to each
individual case
o 3) establish a court of appeal to correct simple errors and to promote
uniformity in the application of the law within each province
o 4) establish a general court of appeal to promote uniformity in the
application of law within the country as a whole and to provide
judicial leadership
o 5) create a system of federal courts for cases directly involving the
federal government as a party or raising issues concerning the
administrative law applied by federal departments
FIRST PRINCIPLE: THE PURELY PROVINCIAL COURTS
- minor cases referred to trial courts that have enough judges to deal with the
enormous volume of these cases
- to serve public needs, these courts are geographically dispersed, so that as
many parties as possible will find the relevant court close at hand
- this is the provincial court, typically divided into functional divisions (family,
etc.)
- court used to be called “magistrate’s court”
- Charter and the cases arising from it have reinforced these structural and
institutional changes and made the judges far more independent and
autonomous
- Three major considerations affect the weight of the deliberations
o Provincial courts have original jurisdiction(conduct the trial and give
the first judicial determination) over all offences created by provincial
legislation
o The cut off point at which lawsuits become too large for provincial
court to consider has been moving upward at rates far in excesss of
the rate of inflation
o Under the CCC serious crimes called indictable offences are defined as
offences for which the maximum penalty is greater than 6 months in
prison and/or a fine of $2000
SECOND PRINCIPLE: THE PROVINCIAL SUPERIOR TRIAL COURTS
- major cases dealt with by a separate court smaller number of judges
structured to provide the longer and more focused attention that these less
routine cases require
- these courts are provincial superior trial courts (this would be the Ontario
Court of Justice here)
- provincial superior court judges are federally appointed and paid

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

WEEK 3 READINGS SOC3730 CHAPTER, 3, 4 & 6
THIRD PRINCIPLE: PROVINCIAL SUPERIOR APPEAL COURTS
- review the decisions of the ‘lower’ courts within the province
- all parties are entitled to appeal the first trial determination of a case
- appeals are rare; a reasonable estimate is probably on the order of 1% or
lower
- correct of error if the trial judge has ‘goofed’ then the lawyer for the
wronged party can bring the matter before the appeal panel, demonstrate the
error, and receive the appropriate remedy
- appeal court has 4 options in resolving an appeal can dismiss the appeal
and uphold the trial decision it can allow the appeal and reverse the trial
decision uphold the decision but vary the results quash the trial decision
FOURTH PRINCIPLE: SUPREME COURT OF CANADA
- SCC 1975
- 1974 Supreme Court Act was amended to give the court more effective
control over its own docket
- annual Supreme Court caseload is about 100 cases
- 85% of those are appeals from the provincial courts of appeal
FIFTH PRINCIPLE: THE PURELY FEDERAL COURTS
- has both a trial and an appeal division
- jurisdiction originally comprised three elements
o simple continuation of the jurisdiction of its predecessor
o accounting for the majority of its cases, is an extensive administrative
law jurisdiction, which essentially provides a judicial backstop for
federal boards and tribunals
o jurisdiction over private suits in certain areas of federal legislative
competence
THE CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS OF JUDICIAL AUTHORITY
- section 101 gives the Parliament of Canada the power to provide for the
constitution, maintenance and organization of a general court of appeal for
Canada, and for the establishment of any additional courts for the better
administration of the laws of Canada
- section 92.14 gives the provinces authority over the constitution,
maintenance and organization of provincial courts, both of civil and of
criminal jurisdiction, and including procedure in civil matters in those courts
- if the answer is not specified within the constitution, then the courts must
read between the lines i.e. they have made up the rules as they have gone
along nothing else they could do
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

WEEK 3 READINGS SOC3730 CHAPTER, 3, 4 & 6
CHAPTER 4: TRIAL COURTS
- questions people bring to trial courts have to do with legal rights, and claims
THE NOTION OF DISPUTE
- three critical early stages in the process (Felstiner, Abel, Sarat)
o naming the identification of a problem in the form of an injurious
experience
o blaming externalizing responsibility for the problem by identifying
another party who fault the experience was
o claiming using some formal or informal procedure to seek some
form of redress from those perceived to be responsible
- Kritzer, Bogart, and Vidmar suggest that we should see the ‘legal
mobilization’ of disputes in terms of crossing a series of thresholds or
‘barriers’
o Recognition barrier = corresponding to the ‘naming’ stage
o Attribution barrier = corresponds to the ‘blaming stage’
o Confrontation barrier = escalates the disagreement to the claim
o Third-party barrier = argument expands to include some other party
o Litigation barrier
DISPUTES AND THRESHOLDS
- First threshold is legal practices dealing with:
o standing requires that a party demonstrate a real connection with the
legal issue rather than a remote or abstract interest
standing rules (because of the charter) have become extremely
flexible
o mootness refers to the need for a real ongoing issue rather than one
whose practical relevance has vanished
o courts limit themselves to hearing cases that have a remedy that is
within the court’s power
- second threshold is imposed by the financial costs of pursing judicial
remedies
o expensive to hire lawyer put a dent in the average person’s budget
o there is an American solution to this problem in the form of the
contingency fee if the case succeeds, the lawyer gets percentage, if it
fails, the lawyer gets nothing
- third way to limit, and thereby to manage, the access of disputes to the courts
is through caseload limitations and the delays that are their inevitable
consequence
o delay carries cost these costs create a pressure on parties to find
some other acceptable outcome
THE NOTION OF DECISION
- the trial judge’s decision comprises three distinct elements
o the relevant facts must be determined
o the relevant law must be determined
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version