Week 3

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Political Science
Political Science 3370F/G
Robert Jonasson

Nathaniel Sukhdeo Public Law 2295G Dr. Braley-Rattai University of Western Ontario Week 4 Summary Notes The readings begin with an introduction to the Superior Provincial Courts. It is outlined that the Superior Provincial Courts are an essential component of the Canadian Justice system. It is stated that this is the court that has unlimited jurisdiction, and unlimited power to administer the law, except in the case where a statute designates it to a specific tribunal. Above the Superior Provincial Court, is the Provincial Court of Appeal. In Ontario however, there is also the Divisional Court in which 3 of the Superior Court Judges sit and review decisions, mainly of administrative tribunals. Next in the reading is the Supreme Court of Canada; it is above the Provincial Court of Appeal, in the hierarchy. It hears the appeals that have moved past the Provincial Court of Appeals that have to do with common law, and cases from Quebec. Leave is required to bring forth the case to the Supreme Court. This is either granted via a panel of three Supreme Court Judges, or Provincial Appellate Courts, however it rarely follows such path. The Supreme Court can also be asked by the Government of Canada to decide on a question, generally questions pertaining to the Constitution. The drawback however is that a Government can use the Supreme Court for their own political agenda, such as a Constitutional challenge, and as such can compel the Supreme Court to determine constitutional validity in their favor. Such proceedings call for the Court to reach beyond their adjudicative duties. There has been several calls for reform to the Supreme Court system, including how Judges are appointed. It is stated that it is mandatory for three of the nine judges to be from Quebec. In addition, by convention, it is mentioned that generally 3 are appointed from Ontario, two from the West, and one from the Maritimes. The reading states that a common issue is the matter of the Quebec Civil Code. It is continually argued that if a separate panel was established within the Supreme Court for specifically Civil Code cases, that if an additional issue rises in context of common law, then it makes the practice redundant. It is then noted that the current layout is not unique, as it is similar to that of England and Scotland’s systems with regards to similarities of issues re: Quebec. The readings state that despite the proposal to remove non- Quebecois judges from Civil Code cases, there is no proposal to remove Quebecois judges from common law cases, which pushes forward on the redundancy and independent motives of Quebec. Another common issue that is mentioned is that currently the Court only hears provinc
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