The Difference Between a Court and a Tribunal

There are two main forums for resolving a legal dispute: a court of law and an administrative board or tribunal. A court of law is an ancient adjudicative forum with inherent jurisdiction in legal matters independent of any statute which may affect it. Its rules of...

The Doctrine of Stare Decisis

The doctrine of stare decisis is the guardian of the development of stable general principles of law. The phrase “stare decisis” is the abbreviation of a longer Latin phrase which means “to stand by decisions and not to disturb settled matters.” The doctrine is a...

Contempt of Court

From time to time, you will have read in the newspaper about strikers defying a court order not to strike or about demonstrators protesting too vigorously and disobeying a court order. Courts take the orders they make very seriously and, if you do not abide by an...

Human Rights Code

The Ontario Human Rights Code is one of the earliest human rights codes in Canada. It goes back a few decades now but in June 2008 major changes were made to it to more effectively provide a human rights system in Ontario. The system now contains three essential...

Common Law and Statute Law

The people of Ontario are governed by two kinds of law: the common law and statutory law. The common law is the law as pronounced by judges on a case by case basis, “judge-made law.” The origins of the common law lie in the thousand year evolution of it in England....

The Effect of Legislation #1

The rule of law governs our lives and is a cornerstone of the justice system in Canada. When the province passes legislation to change the law, the legislation cannot reach into the past and declare the law to be different from what it was. The reason for this is that...