All charges under the Criminal Code, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act, and most others that arise from federal statutes start off in the Ontario Court of Justice. Approximately 95% of these charges are also completed in the Ontario Court of Justice.
The Ontario Court of Justice Guide for Accused Persons in Criminal Trials provides information about criminal trials.
The Ministry of the Attorney General’s website has information on:
- criminal law;
- victims of crime;
- going to court and what happens in criminal court;
- being a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for an accused person while the charges are before the court);
- French language rights: An accused person is entitled to a French trial;
- Interpreter services for other languages: Any accused person or witness who is deaf or does not understand or speak the language of the hearing has the right to the assistance of an interpreter. Information about requesting an interpreter.
Legislation, Court Rules, Practices and Policies:
- Criminal Code of Canada
- Youth Criminal Justice Act
- Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
- Criminal Rules of the Ontario Court of Justice
- Practice Directions, Policies and Local Protocols.
Specialized Criminal Courts:
The Ontario Court of Justice is primarily comprised of courts functioning in the traditional manner. However, approximately 60 specialized criminal courts have been developed in the Ontario Court of Justice offering a range of programs and supports to address the specific needs of Indigenous persons and persons with mental health or addiction issues.
The Ontario Court of Justice is committed to providing timely and fair access to justice. In order to support this objective, effective January 2017, the Court adopted new specialized criminal court guidelines for the establishment and scheduling of these courts.
In order to effectively manage court resources, the establishment of, or changes to, a specialized criminal court requires the approval of the Regional Senior Justice and Chief Justice.