Supreme Court of Canada: Year in Review 2018

A Court for All Canadians

The Supreme Court of Canada hears cases from all parts of the country, on many different topics, in both official languages. These cases affect all Canadians, and so it’s important that the Court’s work is accessible to everyone. The Court’s judges and staff have worked hard to make that happen.

In 2018, the Court:

  • Began providing short, reader-friendly Cases in Brief (summaries of Court judgments) on our website and via Facebook and Twitter
  • Held a press conference where the Chief Justice answered questions from reporters
  • Welcomed 59,503 visitors for tours, special events, and hearings, including high school students who were invited to see the Chief Justice’s welcome ceremony
  • Made changes to the Supreme Court Rules to make it easier to file documents electronically — meaning faster service and lower cost for litigants
  • Held 40 media briefings and lockups to support journalists reporting on Supreme Court decisions
  • Issued 227 news releases to update Canadians on the Court’s work
  • Worked with Library and Archives Canada to ensure “collegial documents” (judges’ drafts, memos, and notes) that might otherwise have been lost are preserved for future generations
  • Continued to support litigants, both represented by counsel and representing themselves, responding to thousands of email, phone, and in-person inquiries

Connecting to the Court

To learn more about the Court and its activities, everyone can:

  • Watch hearings live on the website (or go to the archives and watch them later)
  • Listen to audio recordings of hearings
  • Follow updates on Facebook and Twitter
  • Visit the Supreme Court of Canada to watch a hearing or take a tour (it’s free, and we’re accessible to people with disabilities)
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The Court in Canada...

Supreme Court judges are constantly looking for ways to help Canadians understand the Court’s work. In the spirit of accessibility and transparency, they give speeches and interviews across Canada on topics like access to justice, legal advocacy, and the personal and professional paths that led them to the Court. In 2018, judges spoke to people in ten different provinces and territories. The Court also meets regularly with representatives of bar associations and the media to learn about their needs and improve practices.

...And the World

The Supreme Court is a number of international court organizations, allowing it to share best practices with, and learn from, courts in other countries:

  • World Conference on Constitutional Justice
  • Asia-Pacific Judicial Colloquium
  • L’Association des Cours Constitutionnelles ayant en Partage l’Usage du Français (ACCPUF, the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language)
  • L’Association des Hautes Juridictions de Cassation des pays ayant en partage l’usage du Français (AHJUCAF, the Association of Supreme Courts of Cassation of French-Speaking Countries)
  • International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions

The Supreme Court and its judges welcome visitors from across Canada and around the world each year. Judges and Court officials take part in exchanges and meetings with their global counterparts at home and abroad, so we can learn best practices from other countries and they can learn from us. In 2018, the Court welcomed Lady Hale, President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court and retired South African Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, as well as judges, lawyers, and court officials from Bangladesh, China, France, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, and Ukraine.

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