13 Judicial System.doc

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15 Apr 2012
Role of the judiciary
- rule adjudication, i.e. making authoritative judgments in disputes about the
- civil law and criminal law (Criminal Code)
Common law, civil law
- civil law in Quebec (Civil Code) , common law in the rest of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada
- Supreme Court of Canada – 9 judges, including 3 from Quebec, normally
3 from Ontario, normally 2 from the West, normally 1 from Atlantic
- Chief Justice alternates between Anglophone and Francophone
- panel of 3 judges hear applications for leave to appeal
Federal and provincial courts
- federal court of Canada, tax court of Canada, federal court of appeal
- provincial and territorial courts, superior trial courts, courts of appeal
Appointment of judges
- political patronage
- Commission for Federal Judicial Affairs
Ongoing issues
- eliminating patronage
- senior judges appointed by federal government and reflect federal
priorities – see Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords
- female judges, ethnic and linguistic minorities
- Aboriginal justice
- Court’s role in applying the Charter
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