Interesting Info -> Canadian Law
Canada Criminal Law Courts Info and Resources
Court Abbreviations, Lawyer Jargon, Daily Court List Links and other Goodies
I went to watch court for the first time last year for a friend’s trial and was instantly interested in how Canadian law courts work. I am also following a current case related to a family member and learning to decipher all the abbreviations and legal jargon I have encountered along the way.
I became interested enough, that I am contemplating a career in the legal field. Since it took a fair bit of digging to find this info, I figured putting it all together and organizing it here would be helpful to myself and others who are involved in a Canadian legal case, legal journalists, just curious, or thinking about pursuing a career in the legal field.
Consider this page a work in progress — updated as I find new links, an interesting read or another resource I think might help someone else. The focus is on criminal law courts, I may do another page about civil courts in the future.
Jump to Section: Canadian Court System Overview | Daily Court Lists & Result Lists
Last update: Dec. 15th, 2011
Canadian Court System Overview
There are basically four levels of court in Canada. The main two that will be covered on this page:
First, there are provincial/territorial courts, which handle the great majority of cases that come into the system.
Second are the provincial/territorial superior courts. These courts deal with more serious crimes and also take appeals from provincial/territorial court judgments. In some provinces, they are called “superior” while others call them “supreme”.
On the same level, but responsible for different issues, is the Federal Court. At the next level are the provincial/territorial courts of appeal and the Federal Court of Appeal. The highest level is the Supreme Court of Canada (not to be confused with the Provincial Supreme/Superior courts).
Phew, get it?
If not check out The Depart of Justice Canada’s explanation on how Canadian Law Courts are organized.
Criminal Court Daily Lists & Result Lists and other Resources by Province
These are not easy to find online — so here is my own list of bookmarks. If you are interested in a particular case/trial, this is the place to start. After you find the court you are looking for, you’ll also need to have the legal abbreviations & meanings handy to understand the list itself.
Alberta (AB) Court Lists & Resources
Alberta Courts – Main Website.
Alberta Provincial Criminal Courts – You’ll have to navigate through their website to find info related to specific cases. They don’t make it as easy as BC:
British Columbia (BC) Court Lists & Resources
These court lists are updated daily starting at 6:30AM. Court registries may have updated information since that time.
British Columbia Criminal Court Lists – Index to BC courts daily lists.
Today’s BC Criminal Court Lists
Daily Adult Court List (Provincial) & Daily Adult Court Lists (Provincial Supreme) – Posted in the morning before court begins. From this link you will find a list of locations, clicking on one will take you directly to a PDF of today’s court list. It features the name of accused, lawyer names, appearance reasons, custody status, start of session time, and more.
BC Criminal Court List Recent Results
Completed Adult Court Lists (Provincial) & Completed Adult Court Lists (Provincial Supreme) – List results of Court from the past five days. Want to know who got charged with what, what their sentence is, next court appearance, etc. They don’t make archives easily available (from what I can tell) — so if you are looking for results on a particular case, be sure to check this list often.
Manitoba (MB) Court Lists & Resources
Manitoba Courts – Main Website.
Manitoba Court Registry System – For searching court records and also daily court lists (look at the navigation on the left) — unfortunatly, their website uses frames — which makes linking to specific pages impossible.
New Brunswick (NB) Court Lists & Resources
New Brunswick Courts – Main Website. As far as I can tell, NB doesn’t have an online court record service like BC or other provinces…and the website hasn’t been updates since 2004.
There is a list of NB Provincial courts, which might be the best place for you to start. You’ll have to contact them the old fashion way, by telephone — for more info. Good luck!
Newfoundland & Labrador Court Lists & Resources
Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Courts – Main website. Access to records is granted by password for staff and police only, as far as I can tell.
Courts of the Northwest Territories – Main website.