Official Languages Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.))

Act current to 2014-06-12 and last amended on 2014-04-01. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Authority to make implementing rules
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may make any rules governing the procedure in proceedings before any federal court, other than the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court or the Tax Court of Canada, including rules respecting the giving of notice, that the Governor in Council deems necessary to enable that federal court to comply with sections 15 and 16 in the exercise of any of its powers or duties.

  • Marginal note:Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Federal Court and Tax Court of Canada

    (2) Subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Tax Court of Canada may make any rules governing the procedure in their own proceedings, including rules respecting the giving of notice, that they deem necessary to enable themselves to comply with sections 15 and 16 in the exercise of any of their powers or duties.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.), s. 17;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 156.
Marginal note:Language of civil proceedings where Her Majesty is a party

 Where Her Majesty in right of Canada or a federal institution is a party to civil proceedings before a federal court,

  • (a) Her Majesty or the institution concerned shall use, in any oral or written pleadings in the proceedings, the official language chosen by the other parties unless it is established by Her Majesty or the institution that reasonable notice of the language chosen has not been given; and

  • (b) if the other parties fail to choose or agree on the official language to be used in those pleadings, Her Majesty or the institution concerned shall use such official language as is reasonable, having regard to the circumstances.

Marginal note:Bilingual forms
  •  (1) The pre-printed portion of any form that is used in proceedings before a federal court and is required to be served by any federal institution that is a party to the proceedings on any other party shall be in both official languages.

  • Marginal note:Particular details

    (2) The particular details that are added to a form referred to in subsection (1) may be set out in either official language but, where the details are set out in only one official language, it shall be clearly indicated on the form that a translation of the details into the other official language may be obtained, and, if a request for a translation is made, a translation shall be made available forthwith by the party that served the form.

Marginal note:Decisions, orders and judgments that must be made available simultaneously
  •  (1) Any final decision, order or judgment, including any reasons given therefor, issued by any federal court shall be made available simultaneously in both official languages where

    • (a) the decision, order or judgment determines a question of law of general public interest or importance; or

    • (b) the proceedings leading to its issuance were conducted in whole or in part in both official languages.

  • Marginal note:Other decisions, orders and judgments

    (2) Where

    • (a) any final decision, order or judgment issued by a federal court is not required by subsection (1) to be made available simultaneously in both official languages, or

    • (b) the decision, order or judgment is required by paragraph (1)(a) to be made available simultaneously in both official languages but the court is of the opinion that to make the decision, order or judgment, including any reasons given therefor, available simultaneously in both official languages would occasion a delay prejudicial to the public interest or resulting in injustice or hardship to any party to the proceedings leading to its issuance,

    the decision, order or judgment, including any reasons given therefor, shall be issued in the first instance in one of the official languages and thereafter, at the earliest possible time, in the other official language, each version to be effective from the time the first version is effective.

  • Marginal note:Oral rendition of decisions not affected

    (3) Nothing in subsection (1) or (2) shall be construed as prohibiting the oral rendition or delivery, in only one of the official languages, of any decision, order or judgment or any reasons given therefor.

  • Marginal note:Decisions not invalidated

    (4) No decision, order or judgment issued by a federal court is invalid by reason only that it was not made or issued in both official languages.