Monday, July 9, 2012

The Federal Court of Canada

The Federal Court is a Canadian trial court that hears cases arising under certain areas of federal law. The Federal Court is a superior court with nationwide jurisdiction. The court was created on July 2, 2003 by the Courts Administration Service Act when it and the Federal Court of Appeal were split from their predecessor, the Federal Court of Canada.
On October 24, 2008, the Federal Court was given its own Armorial bearings by the Governor General, the third court in Canada to be given its own Coat of Arms - after the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and Ontario Superior Court of Justice.[1]




The Federal Court consists of a Chief Justice and thirty-two other judges. Currently, there are 28 full-time judges (leaving five vacancies in the Court), along with four supernumerary judges, six deputy judges, and six prothonotaries.
Law Clerks are hired for one-year terms to help the judges research and prepare decisions. They are generally assigned to a particular judge.
The salary of judges are determined annually by the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. Chief Justice receives $254,600 while other judges receives $232,300 annually.[2]


The Federal Court cannot hear any case unless a federal statute confers jurisdiction on the Court to hear cases of that type.
Some examples of the sort of cases heard by the Federal Court are:
These instances of jurisdiction may either be exclusive or concurrent with provincial superior courts, depending on the statute. The Court has the authority to judicially review decisions made by most federal boards, commissions, and administrative tribunals, and to resolve lawsuits by or against the federal government.
Decisions of the Federal Court may be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. Because it is a superior court of national jurisdiction, judgments are enforceable across Canada without the need for certification by the courts of a specific province.

 Judges and prothonotaries

NameAppointedNominated byPosition Prior to Appointment
Paul S. Crampton (Chief Justice)2009
2011 (as Chief Justice)
HarperLawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Yvon Pinard, P.C.(Supernumerary)1984TrudeauMember of Parliament for Drummond
Government House Leader
Sandra J. Simpson (Supernumerary)1993MulroneyLawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Danièle Tremblay-Lamer (Supernumerary)1993MulroneyLawyer at the Department of Justice
Douglas R. Campbell (Supernumerary)1995ChretienProvincial Court of British Columbia
Allan Lutfy (Supernumerary)1996ChretienLawyer at Lavery, de Billy LLP
François Lemieux (Supernumerary)1999ChretienLawyer at Herridge, Tolmie, Gray, Coyne and Blair LLP
John A. O'Keefe1999ChretienLawyer at Foster O'Keefe LLP
Elizabeth Heneghan1999ChretienLawyer (Sole Practitioner)
Dolores Hansen1999ChretienProvincial Court of Alberta
Edmond P. Blanchard2000ChretienNew Brunswick Minister of Finance
Michael A. Kelen2001ChretienLawyer
Michel Beaudry (Supernumerary)2002ChretienLawyer at Beaudry, Bertrand
Luc Martineau2002ChretienLawyer (Sole Practitioner)
Simon Noël2002ChretienLawyer at Noël & Associates
Judith A. Snider2002ChretienVice Chair of the National Energy Board
James Russell2002ChretienLawyer at McDougall, Gauley LLP
James O'Reilly2002ChretienExecutive Legal Office of the Supreme Court of Canada
Sean J. Harrington2003ChretienLawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Richard Mosley2003ChretienAssistant Deputy Minister, Criminal Law and Social Policy
Michel M.J. Shore2003ChretienImmigration and Refugee Board
Michael L. Phelan2003ChretienLawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP
Anne L. Mactavish2003ChretienChair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Yves de Montigny2004MartinChief of Staff to the Minister of Justice
Roger T. Hughes2005MartinLawyer at Sim & McBurney LLP
Robert L. Barnes2006MartinLawyer at Burchell, Hayman, Parish
Leonard S. Mandamin2007HarperProvincial Court of Alberta
Russel Zinn2008HarperLawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP
David Near2009HarperSenior Counsel at Environment Canada
Richard Boivin2009HarperAssociate Senior General Counsel with Aboriginal Affairs
Marie-Josée Bédard2010HarperVice Chair of the Public Service Labour Relations Board
André F.J. Scott2010HarperChair of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal
Donald J. Rennie2010HarperAssistant Deputy Attorney General (Litigation)
Mary J.L. Gleason2011HarperLawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP
Jocelyne Gagné2012HarperLawyer at Lavery, de Billy LLP
Catherine Kane2012HarperDepartment of Justice Senior General Counsel
The prothonotaries of the court by seniority are:
  • Richard Morneau
  • Roza Aronovitch
  • Roger Lafrenière
  • Mireille Tabib
  • Martha Milczynski
  • Kevin R. Aalto

 Former judges

Chief Justice
  • Allan Lutfy: July 3, 2003 – September 30, 2011[3]
Puisine judges
  • Paul U.C. Rouleau: July 3, 2003 – July 25, 2007[4]
  • Max M. Teitlebaum: July 3, 2003 – January 27, 2007[5]
  • W. Andrew MacKay: July 3, 2003 – March 20, 2004[6]
  • Frederick E. Gibson: July 3, 2003 – August 30, 2008[7]
  • James K. Hugessen: July 3, 2003 – July 26, 2008[8]
  • Pierre Blais, P.C.: July 3, 2003 – February 19, 2008[9]
  • Eleanor Dawson: July 3, 2003 – December 26, 2009[10]
  • Carolyn Layden-Stevenson: July 3, 2003 – December 12, 2008[11]
  • Johanne Gauthier: July 3, 2003 – October 21, 2011[12]
  • Konrad W. von Finckenstein: August 14, 2003 – January 25, 2007
  • Robert M. Mainville: June 16, 2009 – June 18, 2010



  1. ^ Media Release
  2. ^ Section 10 of the Judges Act
  3. ^ Lutfy was Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada from December 8, 1999, until the reorganisation.
  4. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from August 5, 1982, until the reorganisation.
  5. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from October 29, 1985, until the reorganisation.
  6. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from September 2, 1988, until the reorganisation.
  7. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from April 1, 1993, until the reorganisation.
  8. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from June 23, 1998, until the reorganisation.
  9. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from June 23, 1998, until the reorganisation.
  10. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from December 8, 1999, until the reorganisation.
  11. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from January 25, 2002, until the reorganisation.
  12. ^ Served on the Federal Court of Canada–Trial Division from December 11, 2002, until the reorganisation.

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