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Legal system

The legal system of Canada draws upon two main sources: British Common Law and the Civil Code of Quebec, with some input from Canadian Aboriginal law. Common Law is known as ‘law by precedent’ and has its roots in English royal courts. By contrast, the civil law of Quebec derives from the French civil code and prevails in private matters in the region of Quebec only. These sources were formalised into a coherent whole by the Charters and Rights of Freedoms Act (1982), which created the constitution of the same name.

Both at a federal and provincial level, justice is administered in a tiered structure. At the top, the Supreme Court presides over the judicial system and is the final court of appeal in civil and criminal cases. Below this are the Federal Court, the tax court of Canada, and the provincial and territorial superior courts of general jurisdiction. The next tier is of provincial courts, including the traffic division, the small claims division, the family division and the criminal division. Judges in the federal courts and the superior provincial courts are appointed by the federal government.

Legal organisations in Canada
Branch Macmaster
D Gosal & Associates
Department of Justice Canada
Johnston Franklin