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A type of legislation that goes through a rigorous review process before becoming law. Acts are also known as statutes.

Administrative tribunals

Administrative tribunals, boards or commissions deal with specific legal issues outside of the court system.

Alberta Court of Justice

Formerly known as Provincial Court, the Alberta Court of Justice deals with most criminal, civil and family matters.



Written laws that municipal governments create.


Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (also known as the “Charter”) is part of Canada’s Constitution. The Charter governs a government’s relationship with its people and guarantees certain rights and freedoms.

Common law

Common law is the interpretation of legislation by the courts. It is also known as “judge-made law”. Both common law and legislation are sources of law in Canada’s legal system.


A system of fundamental principles that govern a nation, state or other organization. The Constitution is the supreme law in Canada. Canada’s Constitution consists of The Constitution Act, 1867, The Constitution Act, 1982 (which includes the Charter), and unwritten rules and customs. 

Constitutional challenge

A claim that an individual or organization can make to the courts if they think legislation violates the Constitution. 

Court of Appeal of Alberta

Alberta’s appeal court that hears appeals of decisions from the superior court and certain other decision-makers. It does not re-try cases.

Court of King’s Bench of Alberta

Alberta’s superior court that can deal with criminal and civil issues. It also conducts judicial review of government and tribunal actions.

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