Courts & Tribunals
Below please find some useful links to various court and tribunal websites, along with a brief description of the website and navigation tips.
Supreme Court of Canada
This site provides information about the Court and its library, judgments from 1877, and services and information for parties and counsel, as well as links to the Charter collection. The full-text judgments database is searchable by concept (key words), or with the help of a field search template.
Supreme Court Advocacy Institute
The Supreme Court Advocacy Institute is a new training organization which aims to “provide pro bono, non-partisan advocacy advice to lawyers appearing in an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada”.
Lawyers will be able to apply to appear in front of a panel of senior counsel, former Supreme Court law clerks, and professors of law who will critique their presentation and advocacy skills.
As advised on the site, counsel wishing to enroll in the Institute’s advocacy program must contact the Institute at least thirty days in advance of their hearing before the Supreme Court. Counsel will be expected to provide a copy of written submissions at the time of registration in order to permit the Institute to organize a panel hearing. In cases of demonstrated hardship, the Institute will cover copying expenses.
Federal Court of Canada
This site provides information on Federal Court rules, reports and decisions, which you begin to access by clicking the appropriate tab on the top toolbar. After this, simple, uncluttered bars on the left allow access to the main sections of each component. Likewise the link to decisions is also located on the toolbar at the top, and this module is not only easy to search, but is also very up-to-date. If only all government funded ventures were this user-friendly.
This site provides something for everyone with useful information about the Ontario Courts system, in a logical and easy to use format. After the opening screen, the user is given some simple main choices: Court of Appeal, Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Justice. Or you can jump to more specific information by clicking items such as Ontario Court Addresses, Notices and Rule Changes, or Ontario Statutes and Regulations. Best of all though, is the availability of recently released judgments and endorsements for the Ontario Court of Appeal, as well as full-text decisions back to 1998. This is a good place to check for recent decisions which may be hard to find in the usual sources. Also useful are the links to the various rules, such as the Family Court Rules and the forms are downloadable .pdf files. The site now has a link to materials relating to the Ontario Court of Justice.
Ontario Court Forms
This site provides access to all forms under the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. Each form is now available on this public website as a separate document in PDF and/or Microsoft Word. Some forms can be completed using the Forms Assistant program while others must be printed and filed in hard copy. The format of these forms is not in compliance with Rule 4 that governs the format of court documents. It is a party’s responsibility to ensure that any form they file complies with the Rules of Civil Procedure, e.g. Rule 4.01 (formatting).
An added identifier appears at the end of each form and comprises two elements: A form code, e.g., RCP-E 4A, and a version date, e.g. November 1, 2011. The version date of a form will depend on the date it is either amended, replaced by a new form, or added.
Ontario Daily Court Lists
The Ministry of the Attorney General has created a new online service to make it easier for individuals, and more importantly their lawyers, to find out where and when they need to go to court. According to the press release, this online version of the daily court lists allows court users to search for basic information about next-day court appearances, including the case number, the names of the parties involved and the time, location and reason for that appearance. The website gives court users a faster, more convenient way to access daily court list information, which until now could only be obtained by calling or visiting the courthouse in person. The site will be updated around 4:30pm each day and will hold that information for 24 hours.
Conservation Review Board (CRB)
The Conservation Review Board page is nicely concise and practical. It briefly details the legislative authority for the establishment of the Board under the Ontario Heritage Act, and offers three quick points about the Board’s nature, composition and mandate. The site holds the collection of Conservation Review Board Reports dating back to 1990, although it would appear that you can only browse by year going back to 2003. However, there is a search box that will allow you to bring up earlier decisions. You can also browse alphabetically by municipality.
Employment Insurance Jurisprudence Library
This Government of Canada site provides a very searchable electronic library of all employment insurance jurisprudence, including CUB’s, Federal Court and Supreme Court decisions, as well as an increasing number of related Provincial Court and Human Rights Tribunal decisions. It is easy to use with both a simplified and extended search engine, searchable by Court or tribunal, keywords, decision number, or name.
Financial Services Commission of Ontario
This organization amalgamates the former Ontario Insurance Commission, the Pension Commission of Ontario, and the Deposit Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance. The site provides a useful source of full-text decisions searchable by date or title. Oddly, the site still requires users to request a username and password to be able to access the decisions. However, it seems everyone who does this is given the same answer, so to save you a step, the required user name is decisions and the password is subscription.
Ontario Municipal Board
This site has been recommended by some of our members as the preferred source for OMB decisions and materials. The e-decisions in this database go back to 2001 and can be searched by case name, counsel or key word. Results are displayed as case abstracts, and can be scanned quickly for relevance before linking to the full text.
Among other content, this site also provides information on preparing for a hearing, the forms required, a listing and outline of relevant statutes, and the usual links to other provincial ministries, agencies, associations and services.
Landlord and Tenant Board
The site is easy to navigate and contains the relevant legislation, regulations, guidelines and rules of practice relating to the tribunal. You can also access the applications, forms and notices through the site. It is an excellent public service site for your clients as it lists the location of its various offices, provides links to its information brochures and answers frequently asked questions. To date, the site does not contain the decisions of the tribunal but there is a Comments link that allows you to send them an email, so you might want to let them know that this would be a good feature to add to their site.
Ontario Workplace Tribunals Library
This is the website of the physical library for the tribunal, but it also serves as a valuable source of links to electronic sources for Employment Standards appeals, Occupational Health and Safety appeals from 1980 to date, WSIAT documents including medical discussion papers, practice directions and the current WSIAB operational manual, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decisions, and Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal decisions from 1989 to date. Some of these links are to the website of the tribunal in question; others are to the OLRB database on canlii.org. Librarians are available for research assistance, in person, by phone, fax or e-mail.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
This site provides access to a variety of materials and has different tabs that tailor information to workers, employers and health care practitioners. The Operational Policy Manual is available here and updated policies are highlighted. You may also wish to subscribe to the E-mail Notification Service to receive an email notice whenever there is an update to the OPM.