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Introduction to Ontario’s Courts

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Court of Appeal for Ontario
  • Rules on the “correctness” of judgments from the Ontario Court of Justice and  the Superior Court of Justice
  • 22 judges – 1,600 cases/year (2010)


Superior Court of Justice
  • All civil cases
  • The more serious cases under the Criminal Code of Canada
  • Divorce, separation, custody, access, support payments, family property. Family Court branch sites are in place at 17 of the 51 Superior Court of Justice locations. At any Family Court branch location, all family matters are heard, including divorce, division of property, support, custody and access, child protection and adoption.
  • Small Claims Court, which provides a forum to bring or defend civil claims for a maximum amount of $35,000 in money or property.
  • Appeals and judicial review of government action in Ontario within the Divisional Court (an appellate branch of the Superior Court).
  • 242 judges – approx. 250,000 proceedings (2010).


Ontario Court of Justice
  • 590,000 criminal charges (Criminal Code, Youth Criminal Justice Act, etc.)
  • 25,000 family proceedings (child custody, access & guardianship, financial support, child protection, adoption)
  • Millions of provincial offences (driving, parking, environmental safety etc.)
  • 284 judges and 345 justices of the peace (2014)