I left off yesterday by mentioning the Federal Court of Canada. I wanted courtroom interior shots (and realized after the fact that I should have left the flash off), so this is my only interior view of the building's courtrooms, of the bench for the judges. Oh well, I can always come back.
The Supreme Court itself is up at the top of the stairs. While members of the public can come into the entrance hall during open hours, only those who go on guided tours are offered courtroom access (when the Court is not in session, though any member of the public can watch Court proceedings). I went on a guided tour, and by chance I was the sole visitor on the tour, which takes about twenty five minutes and deals with the Court, its role in Canada, and the building. The current Court has nine judges, one of whom is the Chief Justice.
Canadian law finds its roots both in the British and French systems of law. Under the provisions of the Supreme Court Act and tradition, the Court is made up of three judges from Ontario, three from Quebec, one from the Atlantic provinces, and two from the West. The Court receives 600-800 applications for appeal through the year, and from that number will hear on average 65-80 cases. It also takes consideration when the federal government requests an issue be examined by the Court for constitutionality (which has not been done as often as of late as with previous governments).
The badge of the Court is found on the entrance floor.
While this view is taken from the top of the stairs. It's a beautiful building, and well worth the visit. I hope you've enjoyed my bringing you around.