February 18, 2019

Courts (5)

The Small Claims Court is a branch of the Superior Court of Justice, and handles nearly half of all civil claims in the province. The Court has civil jurisdiction over monetary claims up to $25,000, and provides an efficient and cost-effective forum for Ontarians to bring or defend these claims.

The Divisional Court is a branch of the Superior Court of Justice and is one of the busiest appellate courts in Canada. The Divisional Court hears statutory appeals from administrative tribunals in the province, and is the primary forum for judicial review of government action in Ontario. The Divisional Court also has some jurisdiction regarding civil and family appeals.

The Ontario Court of Justice is the largest court in the country. The court hears approximately 590,000 criminal charges, millions of provincial offences such as traffic tickets, and serve 25,000 families in crisis annually. The Court sits in close to 200 locations throughout the province. 

The Court of Appeal for Ontario is located in historic Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto. The Court is composed of the chief justice of Ontario, the associate chief justice of Ontario and 20 other judges, supplemented from time to time by additional supernumerary judges.

The Superior Court of Justice in Ontario is unique among the courts of the province: it is a court of “inherent jurisdiction”, meaning that it does not derive its existence from legislation, as the other courts of the province do. Instead, the Superior Court’s jurisdiction is rooted in the history of the first courts of England, whose authority over government actions were based in the Magna Carta.

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