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Criminal Justice

Court Structure

Justice System

As one of the top criminal lawyers in Brampton, we feel it is our duty to clarify the court system to our clients. Generally speaking, Canada's court system is a four-level hierarchy, as shown below from highest to lowest in terms of legal authority. Each court is bound by the rulings of the courts above them, under the principle of stare decisis. They are not bound by the rulings of other courts at the same level in the hierarchy. Canada's criminal justice system is designed to ensure public safety by protecting society from those who violate the law. It does this by stating the types of behaviours that are unacceptable and defining the nature and severity of the punishment for a given offence. As a criminal law firm in Brampton, we will do our best to provide transparency to the system.

Hierarchy of Courts

In Canada, there are four levels of courts. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and has two main functions. It hears appeals from decisions of the appeal courts in all the provinces and territories, as well as from the Federal Court of Appeal. Supreme Court judgments are final. It decides important questions about the Constitution and controversial or complicated areas of private and public law. The government can also ask the Supreme Court for its opinion on important legal questions. All provinces, including Ontario, have three levels of courts. We believe that to be considered the best criminal lawyer in Brampton, you should have the experience to have practiced at all court levels. At the level of the Court of Appeal, criminal law matters include consideration of correctness of acquittals, convictions, and the fitness of sentences. In addition to appeals under the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and other federal criminal legislation, the court also deals with appeals from convictions or acquittals under provincial regulatory legislation, such as highway traffic, environmental protection, and workplace safety laws. The court may be called upon to determine whether legislation or governmental conduct has violated the rights of individuals charged with offences. Under this is the Superior Court and, in criminal matters, superior courts have jurisdiction to hear trials of any serious offences. They also have exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases involving particularly serious crimes, such as murder, treason, sexual assault, and piracy. Finally, in the Provincial Court, lesser criminal matters and some civil law cases are heard. These include trials of minor or summary conviction offences; trials of serious (indictable) offences where the accused elects to be so tried; and preliminary inquiries of indictable offences. If your case is at any of these courts, then you can come to our Brampton criminal law office and we can provide you with all the information to deal with the case.


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