Federal Court (Canada)

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Federal Court
Federal Court Canada.jpg
Coat of Arms of the Federal Court granted in 2008
Established 2003
Country Canada Flag of Canada.svg
Location Ottawa, Ontario
Authorized by Constitution Act, 1867, Federal Courts Act & Courts Administration Service Act
Number of positions 32
Website Federal Court
Chief Justice
Currently Paul Crampton
Since December 15, 2011

The Federal Court is a Canadian trial court that hears cases arising under certain areas of federal law. The Federal Court is an inferior 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 (which was created June 1, 1971, through the enactment of the Federal Court Act, subsequently renamed the Federal Courts Act). The Court's authority comes from the Federal Courts Act.

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 coat of arms features a newly created fantastical creature, the winged sea caribou, as the supporters, representing the provision of justice on air, land and sea.


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.

Judges' salaries are determined annually by the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. Chief Justice receives $315,900 while other judges receives $288,100 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:[citation needed]

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[edit]

Name Appointed Nominated by Position Prior to Appointment
Paul S. Crampton (Chief Justice) 2009
2011 (as Chief Justice)
Harper Lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Yvon Pinard, P.C.(Supernumerary) 1984 Trudeau Member of Parliament for Drummond
Government House Leader
Sandra J. Simpson (Supernumerary) 1993 Mulroney Lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Danièle Tremblay-Lamer (Supernumerary) 1993 Mulroney Lawyer at the Department of Justice
Douglas R. Campbell (Supernumerary) 1995 Chrétien Provincial Court of British Columbia
John A. O'Keefe (Supernumerary) 1999 Chrétien Lawyer at Foster O'Keefe LLP
Elizabeth Heneghan 1999 Chrétien Lawyer (Sole Practitioner)
Dolores Hansen 1999 Chrétien Provincial Court of Alberta
Michel Beaudry (Supernumerary) 2002 Chrétien Lawyer at Beaudry, Bertrand
Luc Martineau 2002 Chrétien Lawyer (Sole Practitioner)
Simon Noël 2002 Chrétien Lawyer at Noël & Associates
James Russell 2002 Chrétien Lawyer at McDougall, Gauley LLP
James O'Reilly 2002 Chrétien Executive Legal Officer of the Supreme Court of Canada
Sean J. Harrington (Supernumerary) 2003 Chrétien Lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Richard Mosley 2003 Chrétien Assistant Deputy Minister, Criminal Law and Social Policy
Michel M.J. Shore 2003 Chrétien Immigration and Refugee Board
Michael L. Phelan 2003 Chrétien Lawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP
Anne L. Mactavish 2003 Chrétien Chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Yves de Montigny 2004 Martin Chief of Staff to the Minister of Justice
Roger T. Hughes 2005 Martin Lawyer at Sim & McBurney LLP
Robert L. Barnes 2005 Martin Lawyer at Burchell, Hayman, Parish
Leonard S. Mandamin 2007 Harper Provincial Court of Alberta
Russel Zinn 2008 Harper Lawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP
Marie-Josée Bédard 2010 Harper Vice Chair of the Public Service Labour Relations Board
Donald J. Rennie 2010 Harper Assistant Deputy Attorney General (Litigation)
Mary J.L. Gleason 2011 Harper Lawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP
Jocelyne Gagné 2012 Harper Lawyer at Lavery, de Billy LLP
Catherine Kane 2012 Harper Department of Justice Senior General Counsel
Michael Manson 2012 Harper Lawyer at Smart & Biggar LLP
Yvan Roy 2012 Harper Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet
Cecily Strickland 2012 Harper Lawyer at Stewart McKelvey LLP
Peter Annis 2013 Harper Ontario Superior Court of Justice
Glennys L. McVeigh 2013 Harper Senior Counsel at the Public Prosecution Service of Canada
René Leblanc 2014 Harper Department of Justice Senior General Counsel
Martine St-Louis 2014 Harper Lawyer at McCarthy Tétrault
George R. Locke 2014 Harper Lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright
Henry S. Brown 2014 Harper Lawyer at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Keith M. Boswell 2014 Harper Lawyer at Stewart McKelvey LLP
Alan Diner 2014 Harper Lawyer at Baker & McKenzie LLP
Simon Fothergill 2014 Harper Counsel with the Privy Council of Canada

The prothonotaries of the court by seniority are:

  • Richard Morneau
  • Roza Aronovitch
  • Roger Lafrenière
  • Mireille Tabib
  • Martha Milczynski
  • Kevin R. Aalto

Former judges[edit]

Chief Justice
  • Allan Lutfy: July 3, 2003 – September 30, 2011[3]
Puisne 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

See also[edit]


  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.

External links[edit]