1. Levels of court
Each province has three levels of court:
- A provincial court that can deal with most criminal, civil and family matters. In Alberta, this is the Alberta Court of Justice.
- A superior court that can deal with criminal and civil issues. It also conducts judicial review of government and tribunal actions. In Alberta, this is the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.
- An appeal court that can hear appeals of decisions from the superior court and certain other decision-makers. It does not re-try cases. In Alberta, this is the Court of Appeal of Alberta.
There are also three federal courts:
- The Tax Court of Canada deals with tax issues.
- The Federal Court deals with issues within federal jurisdiction.
- The Federal Court of Appeal hears appeals of decisions from the Federal Court and certain other decision-makers.
The highest court in Canada is the Supreme Court of Canada. It is an appeal court and only hears cases from provincial courts of appeal and the Federal Court of Appeal.
Each court has its own rules that parties must follow. These rules set out court processes, fees and more.
The rest of this module will focus on courts and tribunals from the perspective of Albertans.