A. Definition of “Appellate Court”

Author:Julien D. Payne - Marilyn A. Payne

Page 587

Section 2(1) of the Divorce Act provides that "‘appellate court,’ in respect of an appeal from a court, means the court exercising appellate jurisdiction with respect to that appeal." This definition is relevant to the operation of sections 21 and 25(3) of the Act. An examination of the aforementioned provisions indicates that the determination of the appropriate appellate court and the procedure applicable on appeals has been delegated to the provinces.1

Although section 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867 binds both the Parliament of Canada and the provincial legislatures and precludes any appellate jurisdiction in divorce proceedings being exercised by tribunals other than those presided over by federally appointed judges, some flexibility exists for the provinces to select the appropriate appellate court in exercising their legislative jurisdiction over the administration of justice. The composition of the appellate court could...

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