This section provides an overview of the Superior Court of Justice, including its structure, history, jurisdiction, governance and administration.
About the Court
The Superior Court of Justice is one of the busiest trial courts in the world. The Court has jurisdiction over criminal, civil, and family cases, and is the largest superior trial court in Canada. The Divisional Court, the Small Claims Court, and the Family Court are all branches of the Superior Court of Justice…[Find out more About the Court]
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…[Find out more about the Court’s History]
The Superior Court of Justice in Ontario has inherent jurisdiction over criminal, civil, and family cases, arising from Ontario’s common law traditions. The Court’s inherent jurisdiction gives it authority to hear any matter that is not specifically assigned to another level of court. The Court also has authority over matters granted to it by federal and provincial statutes…[Find out more about the Jurisdiction of the Court]
Governance and Administration
The principle of judicial independence requires that the courts maintain authority over administrative matters that directly impact their judicial function. Under the Courts of Justice Act, the Chief Justice directs and supervises the sittings of the Superior Court and the assignment of judicial duties…[Find out more about the Court’s Governance and Administration]
For additional background information on the Superior Court of Justice, please also refer to the Court’s annual reports.