Court of Appeal of Alberta

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Court of Appeal of Alberta
Established1921
LocationLaw Courts, Edmonton; Calgary
Authorized by
  • Judicature Act
  • Court of Appeal Act
Number of positions14 (in addition to chief justice of Alberta, supernumerary judges, and the judges of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (who are ex-officio members of the Court of Appeal of Alberta))
Websitealbertacourts.ca/court-of-appeal
Chief justice
CurrentlyCatherine Fraser

The Court of Appeal of Alberta (frequently referred to as Alberta Court of Appeal or ABCA) is a Canadian appellate court.

Jurisdiction and hierarchy within Canadian courts[edit]

The court is the highest in Alberta, Canada. It hears appeals from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, the Provincial Court of Alberta, and administrative boards and tribunals, as well as references from the Lieutenant Governor in Council (essentially the Alberta Cabinet). Some administrative appeals may bypass the Court of Queen's Bench, commonly orders made by professional discipline boards under the Medical Profession Act,[1] the Legal Profession Act, [2] but also under the Energy Resources Conservation Act. [3]

Appeals from the Court of Appeal lie with the Supreme Court of Canada, Canada's court of last resort. Other than certain criminal matters, appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada are heard only by leave of that court. Since the Supreme Court denies leave in most cases, the Court of Appeal is the final court for most matters originating in Alberta.

Unlike the Court of Queen's Bench, the Court of Appeal has no inherent jurisdiction and therefore requires a statute to grant it the power to hear a matter before a panel is convened. As a court of a province, it is administered by the provincial government. Hearings are held exclusively in both the Edmonton and Calgary court buildings. Unlike other provinces (except Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario), the Alberta Court of Appeal displays a different Coat of Arms than its lower courts: the Coat of Arms of Canada.

History[edit]

The court originated from the old Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories which was replaced by the Supreme Court of Alberta in 1907 (shortly after Alberta became a province in 1905). The new Supreme Court of Alberta comprised a trial division and an appellate division (essentially, brother justices of the Supreme Court sitting en banc with a quorum of three).

The second chief justice of Alberta, Horace Harvey, supported an independent appellate court designed only to hear appeals. The Judicature Act enacted these changes in 1919, and it was proclaimed in 1921.[4] It was not until 1979 that the court changed its name to the "Court of Appeal of Alberta" through the Court of Appeal Act,[5] at the same time that the Supreme Court Trial Division and the District Court were amalgamated and renamed the "Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta".

Composition[edit]

There are 14 official positions on the bench[6] including the chief justice, who is the highest judicial officer in the province and holds the position of Chief Justice of Alberta. At any given time there may be several additional judges who also sit as supernumerary justice.[6] As a Section 96 court, the justices are appointed by the federal government and may hold office until the age of 75. Some of the justices have elected supernumerary (part-time or semi-retired) status. Occasionally, justices of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta sit on appeals. This is done at the request of a justice of the Court of Appeal. When this happens, these justices are sitting "ex officio", but they have the same powers and duties as other justices of the Court of Appeal.

Most cases are heard by a panel of three justices although the chief justice may convene a larger panel in exceptional circumstances. A single justice will preside over matters heard in "chambers", usually interlocutory matters or applications for leave to appeal.

Association with the Northwest Territories[edit]

Justices of the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories are selected from the justices of the Court of Appeal of Alberta, Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan, and the judges and ex officio judges of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories. The current chief justice of Alberta, Catherine Fraser, is also the chief justice of the Northwest Territories. Hearings are held in Yellowknife, but may be heard anywhere in the territories or in Alberta.[7]

Current judges[edit]

Name Sitting in Appointed Nominated by Position prior to appointment
Chief Justice Catherine Fraser Edmonton 1991
1992
Mulroney Alberta Court of Appeal
Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (1989 to 1991)

Lucas, Bishop and Fraser (1971–1989)

Justice Frans F. Slatter[8][9][10] Edmonton 2006 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

McCuaig Desrochers LLP

Justice Brian K. O'Ferrall[11] Calgary 2011 Harper Provincial Court of Alberta
Justice Barbara L. Veldhuis[12] Calgary 2013 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

Department of Justice Canada (1998 to 2006)
Provincial crown attorney (1991 to 1993, 1996 to 1998)

Justice Thomas W. Wakeling Edmonton 2014 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

Fraser Milner Casrgain (1983 to 2013)

Justice Frederica L. Schutz Edmonton 2015 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Michelle Crighton Edmonton 2016 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Jo'Anne Strekaf Calgary 2016 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Ritu Khullar Edmonton 2018 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Elizabeth A. Hughes Calgary 2018 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Dawn Pentelechuk Edmonton 2018 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Jolaine Antonio Calgary 2018 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Kevin Feehan Edmonton 2019 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

Supernumerary

Name Stationed in Appointed Nominated by Position prior to appointment
Justice Marina S. Paperny[13]

(Supernumerary)

Calgary 2001 Chrétien Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Peter W.L. Martin[14][15]
(Supernumerary)
Calgary 2005 Martin Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Jack Watson[16][17]
(Supernumerary)
Edmonton 2006 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Patricia A. Rowbotham[18][19][20][21]
(Supernumerary)
Calgary 2007 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice J. D. Bruce McDonald[16][22]
(Supernumerary)
Calgary 2008 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Myra B. Bielby[23]
(Supernumerary)
Edmonton 2010 Harper Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Peter T. Costigan[24]
(Supernumerary)
Edmonton 1999 Chrétien Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Justice Sheila J. Greckol[25]

(Supernumerary)

Edmonton 2016 J. Trudeau Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (2001 to 2016)
Chivers, Greckol & Kanee (1976 to 2001)

Former chief justices of Alberta[edit]

Previous judges[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Medical Profession Act, RSA 2000, c. M-11, Part 4
  2. ^ Legal Profession Act, RSA 2000, c. L-8
  3. ^ Energy Resources Conservation Act, RSA 2000, c. E-10
  4. ^ "History of the Court of Appeal". Albertacourts.ca. Alberta Court of Appeal. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Court of Appeal Act, RSA 2000, c. C-30
  6. ^ a b Canada, Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. "Federal Judicial Appointments - Number of Federally Appointed Judges in Canada". www.fja.gc.ca.
  7. ^ "Northwest Territories Courts". www.nwtcourts.ca. Archived from the original on June 27, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  8. ^ "NUTV Talent Development Series - Weekend After Effects Workshop Aug. 20-21 - Events - University of Calgary". www.ucalgary.ca.
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  12. ^ "Alberta Judicial Appointments Announced". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
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  14. ^ "We couldn't find that Web page (Error 404) - Department of Justice / Nous ne pouvons trouver cette page Web (Erreur 404) - Ministère de la Justice". www.justice.gc.ca. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
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  31. ^ (PDF) http://www.freemasons.ab.ca/AbFM/ABF0211.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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Sources[edit]

  • Louis Knafla, Richard Klumpenhouwer, Lords of the Western Bench: A Biographical History of the Supreme and District Courts of Alberta, 1876–1990 (Canada: Legal Archives Society of Alberta, 1997).

External links[edit]