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About the Court

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The Ontario Court of Justice is one of two trial courts in Ontario (together with the Superior Court of Justice) that make up the Court of Ontario. The Ontario Court of Justice is composed of provincially appointed judges and justices of the peace.

The Ontario Court of Justice has that jurisdiction which is specifically given to it by the laws of Ontario and Canada. In broad terms, judges of the Court deal with a wide range of family law cases (including child protection, custody, access, support and adoption) as well as the overwhelming majority of criminal charges laid within the province. Justices of the peace of the Court have jurisdiction with respect to provincial offences, bail hearings and search warrants. Their responsibilities also include, but are not limited to, presiding in criminal set-date court and hearing applications under section 810 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Information regarding the jurisdiction, structure and organization of the Ontario Court of Justice can be found in the Court’s Biennial Report and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Attorney General of and the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice (PDF).

For further general information about the Court, please see the Opening of Courts Speech.


The Ontario Court of Justice serves the people of Ontario by providing independent, fair and accessible justice. The judges and the justices of the peace of the Court preside over adult criminal, youth criminal, family law, child welfare, and provincial offences matters, in accordance with the jurisdiction conferred upon the Court by the laws of the Province of Ontario and Canada.