10 Advoc. Q. 222 (1988-1989)

handle is hein.journals/aqrty10 and id is 246 raw text is: A LOOK AT THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA
Guy Y. Goulard, Q.C. *
1. History
The Supreme Court of Canada was created in 1867 with the
passage of a bill introduced in the Parliament of Canada under the
authority conferred on Parliament by s. 101 of the Constitution
Act, 1867 to provide for the constitution, maintenance and
organization of a general court of appeal for Canada.
The Supreme Court is charged with fulfilling the mandate
created by ss. 35 and 54 of the Supreme Court Act' which is to
have, hold and exercise an appellate, civil and criminal juris-
diction within and throughout Canada and, as well, to have,
hold and exercise exclusive ultimate appellate civil and criminal
jurisdiction within and for Canada.2 With the abolition of
appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1949, the
Supreme Court of Canada became the final court of appeal in all
cases, the last resort of private parties or governments in Canada.
The Constitution Act, 1982, and more specifically the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is part of the supreme law
of Canada and which overrides any federal or provincial statute
inconsistent with its provisions, has entrusted the Court with final
interpretation of the rights and freedoms of Canadians entrenched
therein. This great responsibility has significantly enhanced the
national importance of the Supreme Court.
If the Meech Lake accord, which was ratified by the eleven first
ministers on June 3, 1987, is adopted, the existence of the
Supreme Court of Canada will be entrenched formally in the
Constitution. This gesture may be more or less symbolic, as many
Registrar, Supreme Court of Canada.
1 R.S.C. 1970, c. S-19, now R.S.C. 1985, c. S-26. On December 12, 1988, the Revised
Statutes of Canada 1985, along with the First and Second Supplements were proclaimed in
force. References throughout this article reflect the R.S.C. 1970 statutes. However,
where necessary, notations reflecting the R.S.C. 1985 statutes will be provided.
2 Sections 35 and 54 are now ss. 35 and 52 respectively in R.S.C. 1985, c. S-26 and in each
instance the word hold has been deleted.

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