Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Crossroads Of Justice

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.


  1. Beautiful stairway! The stonework and stone itself is beautiful, particularly that colored marble.

  2. Interesting shots. Looks like a beautiful building.

  3. Da una sensación de fuerza... De poder... Un abrazo desde Murcia....

  4. I enjoyed it very much, it is a rich decorated building.

  5. How fun to be the only one on the tour. I love photo #2.


  6. It's a fantastic building William, gosh that staircase is a beauty, is it marble? Definitely worth a visit or two!

  7. Just hope I don't ever cross paths with it. :-)

  8. That building is beautiful inside.

  9. @Tex: it certainly does catch the eye.

    @Kay: I photographed the marble several times, wanting just the right way. It's quite a standout.

    @Linda: it certainly is.

    @Alp: thank you!

    @Denise: I think so too.

    @Tomas: it does, yes.

    @Marianne: and yet very functional.

    @Janis: yes, that's the first time that has ever happened to me.

    @Grace: yes, it's marble.

    @Revrunner: at least not as a defendant or respondent!

    @Sharon: it certainly is.

    @Audrey: merci!

  10. I love the light and the floors in your last photo!

  11. A beautiful building, but I am always a bit scared by this kind of places...

  12. Love the marble on the stairway!

  13. Thanks for the beautiful shots and for the interesting and informative commentary. The building is incredibly beautiful and quite majestic!

  14. Perhaps I should have been a bar lawyer after all...
    In France we have two supreme courts, one for the civil (Cour de cassation) and one for the administrative (Conseil d'Etat) systems. And then we have a Constitutional court (Conseil constitutionnel). The fact that one court does the job on its own for Canada makes me wonder...

  15. What a beautiful building! I will have to look up Federal Court of Canada. You've given a good explanation of the court.

  16. @Marleen: a tremendous amount of space, yes.

    @Linda: thank you!

    @VP: courtrooms shouldn't be frightening. Unless one happens to be OJ Simpson.

    @RedPat: me too.

    @Lowell: the architect really outdid himself with this place.

    @Ciel: yes, this one handles pretty much everything all in one.

    @Red: thank you!

    @Norma: me too!

  17. You're always interesting William, I like that second shot, the general view with the two staircases, talk about imposing...

  18. Pretty building. Wonder if the appeals that get heard are chosen by the appeal date?

  19. Your words and photos are most interesting!

  20. Where did my comment go? Anyway... l II've courthouses. Always nostolgic.

  21. It is a very attractive and elegant building. Court buildings usually are among the nicer government buildings. I think the builders and architects want to emphasize the seriousness and deep thinking that courts are expected to use.

  22. I just want to run through that last photo with my socks on. Whhoooosssh.

  23. @Geoff: it is a grand building.

    @Janey: they're quite choosy about which cases they hear.

    @Mari: it is quite the place.

    @Cloudia: thank you!

    @Shelly: this one's a special one.

    @EG: that it is.

    @Jack: this one was well designed.

    @Whisk: I don't think the security guards would appreciate that!