Court System of Canada

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Court System of Canada by Mind Map: Court System of Canada

1. Provincial Courts - Criminal Division

1.1. This court arraigns the accused in all criminal cases; holds preliminary hearings for the most severe indictable offences where the accused elects to have the cased tried in a higher court; hears and tries criminal summary conviction cases and the least serious indictable offences such as theft under $5000

1.2. Responsible for the finding of facts, witness testimony and the introduction of evidence.

1.3. Judges in this court are appointed by the provincial government

1.4. An example of a case would be if someone was charged with manslaughter

2. Provincial Superior Court - Appeals and Trials

2.1. This court is the court of first appeal with respect to criminal cases arising in the provincial court

2.2. This court tries the most severe crimes such as manslaughter and sexual assault, and the most severe indictable offences such as murder and armed robbery; hears criminal appeals in summary conviction cases; sets provincial precedent; can be composed of a judge alone or a judge and a jury

2.3. Judges in this court are appointed by the federal government

2.4. For example, if a person disagrees with the decision made in a divorce case, they may appeal to this court.

3. Provincial Court of Appeal

3.1. This is the highest court and the final court of appeal in the province. Many appeals stop here as the Supreme Court of Canada only accepts the most important appeals. Appeals are heard by three or more judges, depending on the case. Their decisions may be either unanimous or majority judgements. When the court releases its decision, it also provides explanations for the majority vote and the dissenting judges provide their reasons for disagreeing.

3.2. This court hears appeals from the trial division of provincial superior courts; sets the provincial precedent; has three to five judges to hear all appeals

3.3. Judges in this court are appointed by the federal government

3.4. Someone who committed slaughter and has appealed to the Superior Court of Justice but is unhappy with the decision may choose to appeal again to this court.

4. Federal Courts

4.1. This is Canada's national court system that hears legal disputes with the federal government. It is divided into two courts: the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

4.2. The Federal Court has jurisdiction over cases involving federal government boards, tribunals and commissions, and issues within federal jurisdiction. For example, immigration and citizenship matters, intellectual property as well as cases involving the federal government.

4.3. The Federal Court of Appeal hears appeals of decisions made by the Federal Court.

4.4. Both courts have regional offices in all major cities in Canada although the judges and the main court facilities are located in Ottawa

4.5. Someone who is dealing with copyright infringement might go to this court

5. Supreme Court of Canada

5.1. The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal. Even though it's the highest court, not all parties have the right to appeal to it. Before it agrees to hear an appeal, the court determines if the issue is of great importance or if a question of law must be decided or interpreted.

5.2. There is an automatic right of appeal when there is a split decision from a provincial court of appeal

5.3. The SCC may be either unanimous or split

5.4. It has unlimited jurisdiction in criminal matters and hears appeals from provincial appeal courts and the Federal Court of Appeal. It hears cases of national importance and general grants leave before the appeal will be heard. The SCC sets a national precedent in its judgements.

5.5. An example case is R v Parks where a question of law (whether sleepwalking should be classified as non-insane automatism or a "disease of the mind" had to be decided

5.6. The Supreme Court has nine judges who are appointed by the federal government. Judges can serve until age 75.