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Court of King's Bench of Alberta

Court of King's Bench of Alberta
Entrance of the Queen's Bench of Alberta building in Calgary (demolished 2007)
LocationCalgary
Websitealbertacourts.ca/kb Edit this at Wikidata
Acting Chief Justice
CurrentlyKenneth G. Nielsen [1]
Since6 November 2023
Associate Chief Justice
CurrentlyD. Blair Nixon [1]
SinceOctober 6, 2023
Associate Chief Justice
CurrentlyKenneth G. Nielsen[1]
SinceMay 22, 2019

The Court of King's Bench of Alberta (abbreviated in citations as ABKB or Alta. K.B.) is the superior trial court of the Canadian province of Alberta. During the reign of Elizabeth II, it was named Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta.

The Court was relocated to the Calgary Courts Centre in 2007, and has been located at the Law Courts building in Edmonton since the 1970s.

History

The court originates from the old Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, which continued to exist in Alberta and Saskatchewan after those two provinces were created in 1905. In 1907, Alberta abolished the territorial Supreme as it existed in Alberta, and created the Supreme Court of Alberta. The new provincial Supreme Court inherited much of the jurisdiction of the territorial Supreme Court. Some jurisdiction of the territorial court was assigned to several lower district courts created at the same time as the new provincial Supreme Court.

In 1921, the Supreme Court was reorganized to have an independent trial division (Supreme Court of Alberta Trial Division), and an independent appellate division (Supreme Court of Alberta Appellate Division), the precursor to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. On June 30, 1979, the Supreme Court Trial Division was renamed the "Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta".

The district courts created in 1907 were amalgamated into the District Court of Northern Alberta and the District Court of Southern Alberta in 1935, merging altogether into the District Court of Alberta in 1975. In 1979, it merged for the last time, this time back with the Supreme Court, into the Court of Queen's Bench.

Structure

The court consists of a chief justice of the court, two associate chief justices (one in Edmonton and one in Calgary), and several judges including those judges who have elected supernumerary status after many years of service and after having attained eligibility for retirement (typically at age 65).

A justice of the Court of Appeal of Alberta is an ex officio justice of the Court of King's Bench and may sit on that court. Likewise, a justice of the Court of King's Bench may sit on a panel of the Court of Appeal, by invitation of the chief justice of Alberta. The chief justice of Alberta and the chief justice of the Court of the King's Bench are distinct offices. The former is the chief justice of the province and sits on the Court of Appeal, while the latter is the chief justice of a court and sits on the Court of King's Bench.

The province is divided into 11 districts with court sitting in 13 different locations (some districts have a primary and a secondary location). As of 2010 the locations were:

  • Calgary
  • Drumheller
  • Edmonton
  • Fort McMurray
  • Grande Prairie
  • High Level
  • Hinton
  • Lethbridge
  • Medicine Hat
  • Peace River
  • Red Deer
  • St. Paul
  • Wetaskiwin

Jurisdiction

As a superior court, it has inherent jurisdiction and therefore, may hear matters despite absence of specific statutory delegation. Thus, it operates as a civil and criminal trial court, hears surrogate matters, as well as certain appeals from the Provincial Court of Alberta.

Appeals from the court lie with the Court of Appeal. Civil procedure before the court are set out in the Alberta Rules of Court.

Appointments

Although provincial superior courts are administered by the provinces, they are considered to be Section 96 courts (from Section 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867). Therefore, appointments to the court are within federal jurisdiction and made by Cabinet.

Styling

The Court of Queen's Bench Act sets out the styling convention of the court in Section 2.1. During the reign of a queen, it is known as the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. On September 8, 2022, upon the accession of King Charles III to the throne, the name changed to the Court of King's Bench of Alberta.[2]

Former justices of the court

  • Joe Kryczka (1980 to 1991)
  • Joanne B Veit (1981 to 2017)[3]
  • Sheila J. Greckol (2001 to 2016)
  • Sheilah Martin (2005 to 2016)
  • Ritu Khullar (2017 to 2018)
  • J Richard Philippe Marceau (1995 - ?)[4]
  • N.C. Wittmann[5]
  • René Paul Foisy (? - 1987)[6]
  • Vernor Winfield MacBriare Smith[7]

Former chief justices of the court

See also

  • Applications judges: Judicial officers part of the Court of King's Bench, appointed by the province

References

  1. ^ a b c "Justices & Masters". Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  2. ^ CanLII, R.S.A. 2000, c. C-31. "Court of Queen's Bench Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. C-31". Retrieved 2022-09-08.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "The Honourable Joanne B. Veit". April 2001. Archived from the original on 17 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Alberta judicial appointment announced". Archived from the original on 2003-11-11. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  5. ^ "PM Announces Alberta Judicial Appointments". Archived from the original on 2012-02-20.
  6. ^ Foisy, René P. (1986). Commission of Inquiry, Hinton Train Collision: report of the Commissioner, the Honourable Mr. Justice René P. Foisy. Edmonton: The Commission. ISBN 978-0-66012227-4. OCLC 17230999. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  7. ^ "Vernor Smith Obituary - Edmonton, AB | Edmonton Journal". Legacy.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.

Further reading

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Court of King's Bench of Alberta
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