Supreme Court Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-26)

Act current to 2015-11-16 and last amended on 2013-12-12. Previous Versions


Marginal note:Judgment to be carried out by court below

 The judgment of the Court in appeal shall be certified by the Registrar to the proper officer of the court of original jurisdiction, who shall make all proper and necessary entries thereof, and all subsequent proceedings may be taken thereon as if the judgment had been given or pronounced in the last mentioned court.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 53.


Marginal note:Exclusive ultimate appellate jurisdiction

 The Court shall have and exercise exclusive ultimate appellate civil and criminal jurisdiction within and for Canada, and the judgment of the Court is, in all cases, final and conclusive.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 54.


References by Governor in Council

Marginal note:Referring certain questions for opinion
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may refer to the Court for hearing and consideration important questions of law or fact concerning

    • (a) the interpretation of the Constitution Acts;

    • (b) the constitutionality or interpretation of any federal or provincial legislation;

    • (c) the appellate jurisdiction respecting educational matters, by the Constitution Act, 1867, or by any other Act or law vested in the Governor in Council; or

    • (d) the powers of the Parliament of Canada, or of the legislatures of the provinces, or of the respective governments thereof, whether or not the particular power in question has been or is proposed to be exercised.

  • Marginal note:Other questions

    (2) The Governor in Council may refer to the Court for hearing and consideration important questions of law or fact concerning any matter, whether or not in the opinion of the Court ejusdem generis with the enumerations contained in subsection (1), with reference to which the Governor in Council sees fit to submit any such question.

  • Marginal note:Questions deemed important

    (3) Any question concerning any of the matters mentioned in subsections (1) and (2), and referred to the Court by the Governor in Council, shall be conclusively deemed to be an important question.

  • Marginal note:Opinion of Court

    (4) Where a reference is made to the Court under subsection (1) or (2), it is the duty of the Court to hear and consider it and to answer each question so referred, and the Court shall certify to the Governor in Council, for his information, its opinion on each question, with the reasons for each answer, and the opinion shall be pronounced in like manner as in the case of a judgment on an appeal to the Court, and any judges who differ from the opinion of the majority shall in like manner certify their opinions and their reasons.

  • Marginal note:Notice to be given to provinces interested

    (5) Where the question relates to the constitutional validity of any Act passed by the legislature of any province, or of any provision in any such Act, or in case, for any reason, the government of any province has any special interest in any such question, the attorney general of the province shall be notified of the hearing in order that the attorney general may be heard if he thinks fit.

  • Marginal note:Notice to interested persons

    (6) The Court has power to direct that any person interested or, where there is a class of persons interested, any one or more persons as representatives of that class shall be notified of the hearing on any reference under this section, and those persons are entitled to be heard thereon.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of counsel by Court

    (7) The Court may, in its discretion, request any counsel to argue the case with respect to any interest that is affected and with respect to which counsel does not appear, and the reasonable expenses thereby occasioned may be paid by the Minister of Finance out of any moneys appropriated by Parliament for expenses of litigation.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 55.