Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan

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Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan
CountryFlag of Saskatchewan.svg Saskatchewan
LocationBattleford; Estevan; Melfort; Moose Jaw; Prince Albert; Regina; Saskatoon; Swift Current; Weyburn; and Yorkton
Authorized byThe Queen's Bench Act, 1998
No. of positions33
WebsiteCourt of Queen's Bench
Chief Justice
CurrentlyMartel D. Popescul
SinceJanuary 1, 2012

The Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan is the superior trial court for the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

Structure and organization[edit]

Regina Court House

The Court consists of 33 full-time judges[1] and a number of supernumerary judges, all appointed and paid by the federal government.[2][3] The court's Chief Justice, currently the Honourable Martel D. Popescul, is styled the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench. Both the Chief Justice and puisne justices are addressed as "My Lord" or "My Lady" and referred to as "His Lordship" or "Her Ladyship". This differs from the terminology used in the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, whose judges are "Your Honour", "His Honour" or "Her Honour".

The Court sits in nine judicial centres[4][5][6] and actions are generally brought in the judicial centre closest to where the action arose, or the residence or place of business of the defendant.[7]


The Court hears civil and criminal law cases. It is a court of inherent jurisdiction and there is no monetary limit on the claims which it may hear. It also has original jurisdiction over matters assigned to it by statute, such as adjudicating human rights complaints.

The court has a Family Law Division, which has exclusive jurisdiction over family law matters in the judicial centres of Saskatoon, Regina, and Prince Albert, and concurrent jurisdiction (with the Provincial Court) over family law matters in all other areas of the province.[8][9]

As a superior court of original jurisdiction, it has supervisory jurisdiction over administrative tribunals, exercised by the prerogative writs. It also has some appellate jurisdiction, hearing appeals from the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan and some administrative bodies. Appeals may be taken from the Queen's Bench to the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan. A further appeal lies to the Supreme Court of Canada.


Regina Court House 1900, Victoria Avenue and Hamilton Street. Pictured are Dixie Watson (seated right), Court Clerk; J. M. Duncan; Justice Newlands.

Until it became a province in 1905, Saskatchewan was part of the North-West Territories as it existed at that time and its judicial system was that of the territory. In fact, it was not until 1907 – two years after Saskatchewan became a province – that the new province's judicial system was established.[10] The initial court structure of 1907 consisted of three courts: the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan, the District Court (similar to the County Courts of other provinces) and the Surrogate Court. There was no appeal court; rather, appeals were conducted by the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan, consisting of all the judges of the Supreme Court, other than the judge who made the decision under appeal.

Regina Court House of the King's Bench of Saskatchewan, 2002 Victoria Avenue, c. 1919

During the First World War, the province reorganized its courts. In 1915, the province passed legislation, The King's Bench Act [11] and The Court of Appeal Act,[12] for the purpose of creating a new court structure. Those acts came into effect on March 1, 1918, resulting in the abolition of the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan and the creation of the trial-level Court of King's Bench and the Court of Appeal.[13][14]

In 1981, Saskatchewan merged its District Court into the Court of Queen's Bench.[15] As part of that process, the judicial centres of the District Court became the judicial centres of the Court of Queen's Bench.


The Court of King's Bench Act foresaw the need to rename the Court in the event of a female monarch. The Act provides that, during the reign of a Queen, the Court is known as the Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Should the monarchy be vested in a King, it will be known as the Court of King's Bench for Saskatchewan.[13]

Current Justices[edit]

Name[16] Appointed Division Nominated By Prior Position(s)
Chief Justice M.D. Popescul 2006 (J)
2012 (CJ)
General Harper Sanderson Balicki Popescul
Crown Prosecutor (1980 to 1982)
Justice B.A. Barrington-Foote 2012 General Harper MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP (2002 to 2012)
McKercher McKercher & Whitmore (1995 to 2002)
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer (1992 to 1995)
Justice D.J. Brown 2014 Family Harper Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice
Justice C.L. Dawson
Justice R.W. Elson 2013 General Harper McKercher LLP (1982 to 2013)
Justice J.D. Kalmakoff 2015 General Harper Provincial Court of Saskatchewan (2009 to 2015)
Sask. Crown Attorney
Hnatyshyn Singer
Justice L.L. Krogan 2012 General Harper Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice
Justice G. Mitchell 2018 General Trudeau Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board
Justice J.E. McMurtry 2005 General Martin Provincial Court Judge (1994 to 2005)
Justice M.T. Megaw 2014 Family Harper Gerrand Rath Johnson
Justice J.A. Tholl 2013 Family Harper
Justice G.A.J. Chicoine
Justice D.C. Chow 2013 General Harper Provincial Court (2012 to 2013)
Justice G.M. Currie 2005 General Martin Robertson Stromberg Pedersen
Justice R.W. Danyliuk 2011 General Harper McDougall Gauley LLP (2001 to 2011)
Thorstad Danyliuk McAdam (1987 to 2000)
Justice G.D. Dufour Family
Justice M.D. Tochor 2018 General Trudeau
Justice G.V. Goebel 2014 Family Harper Robertson Stromberg (1994 to 2014)
Justice D.B. Konkin
Justice D.E. Labach 2015 Family Harper
Justice D.H. Layh 2014 General Harper Layh & Associates (1994 to 2014)
Justice H.D. MacMillan-Brown 2018 General Trudeau Miller Thomson (1997 to 2018)
Justice M.R. McCreary 2018 General Trudeau MLT Aikins LLP
Justice G.A. Meschishnick 2015 General Harper
Justice R.C. Mills 2005 General Martin Mills Wilcox Zuk
Justice B.J. Scherman 2011 Harper Harper Miller Thomson LLP
Justice F.N. Turcotte 2012 Family Harper
Justice D.L. Wilson Family
Justice K.L. Zerr 2018 General Trudeau Crown Counsel, Saskatoon Regional Office
Justice T.J. Keene General
Justice L.W. Zuk 2013 Family Harper Wilcox Zuk Chovin Law Offices
Justice B. Hildebrandt 2018 General Trudeau Sole Practitioner
Justice C. Richmond 2018 General Trudeau Partner, Richmond Nychuk Barristers and Solicitors

Supernumerary Justices

Name[16] Duration Nominated By Prior Position(s)
Justice M.D. Acton 2017 (sup.)
Justice Gerald Norman Allbright 1995 - ? Halyk, Allbright
Director of the Saskatchewan Community Legal Services Commission
Kirkby & Allbright
Justice M.L. Dovell
Justice Neil G. Gabrielson
Justice F.J. Kovach
Justice R.D. Maher
Justice J.L. Pritchard
Justice A.R. Rothery
Justice R.S. Smith
Justice Y.G.K. Wilkinson
Justice T.C. Zarzeczny

Previous Justices

Name[17][18] Duration Nominated By Prior Position(s)
Justice Maurice J. Herauf 2007 to 2011
Honourable Lian M. Schwann March 2011 to 2017 Stephen Harper Crown counsel
McDougall Gauley

Courts of Saskatchewan[edit]

There are three main courts in Saskatchewan:

Notable cases[edit]

In the Crown vs Stanley, presided by Saskatchewan Chief Justice Popescul, an all-white jury[19] acquitted local Battleford, Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley on February 9, 2018. The jury found that the death of Colten Boushie, from the Cree Red Pheasant First Nation[20] occurred because of "hang fire".[21][22] Clint Wuttunee, Chief of the Red Pheasant First Nation, called the verdict "absolutely perverse".[19][23][21] Following the announcement of the acquittal, rallies and vigils took place across Canada.[24] The rally at the Saskatoon court attracted 1,000 people who supported Boushie's family and were frustrated by the jury's decision.[24] At a press conference on February 11, hosted by Saskatoon Tribal Council, Mayor Clark described the event as a "defining moment for this community and this country".[24]


  2. ^ Courts of Saskatchewan website: Court of Queen's Bench Judges.
  3. ^ Peter Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 1985), pp.136–137.
  4. ^ Courts of Saskatchewan website: Court of Queen's Bench Locations.
  5. ^ The Queen's Bench Act, 1998, S.S. 1998, c. Q-1.01, s. 21.
  6. ^ The Queen's Bench Regulations, R.R.S. c. Q-1.01 Reg 1, s. 3.
  7. ^ The Queen's Bench Act, 1998, S.S. 1998, c. Q-1.01, s. 22(1).
  8. ^ Courts of Saskatchewan website: Court of Queen's Bench Family Law.
  9. ^ The Queen's Bench Regulations, R.R.S. c. Q-1.01 Reg. 1, s. 8.
  10. ^ Saskatchewan Act, S.C. 1905, c. 42, s. 16.
  11. ^ The King's Bench Act, S.S. 1915, c. 10.
  12. ^ The Court of Appeal Act, S.S. 1915, c. 9.
  13. ^ a b Courts of Saskatchewan website Queen's Bench History. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  14. ^ Courts of Saskatchewan website Court of Appeal History. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  15. ^ Saskatchewan Archives Board, Court Records
  16. ^ a b "Saskatchewan Law Courts - Judges". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  17. ^ "Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Saskatchewan". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Saskatchewan Judicial Appointments Announced".
  19. ^ a b Graveland, Bill (February 10, 2018). "Not guilty verdict in shooting death of Colten Boushie 'absolutely perverse'". The Toronto Star. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  20. ^ "Gerald Stanley acquitted of all charges in the death of Colten Boushie". APTN National News. February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Plaxton, Michael (February 11, 2018). "The Stanley verdict: Manslaughter and 'hang fire'". The Globe and Mail. Battleford, Saskatchewan. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  22. ^ Friesen, Joe (February 8, 2018). "Gerald Stanley must be held accountable for death of Colten Boushie, Crown argues". The Globe and Mail. Battleford, Saskatchewan. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  23. ^ Graveland, Bill (February 8, 2018). "Defence claims no evidence Gerald Stanley intentionally killed Colten Boushie". The Toronto Star. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c Frieson, Joe (February 10, 2018). "Thousands rally across Canada after Gerald Stanley acquitted in killing of Colten Boushie". The Globe and Mail. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Retrieved February 11, 2018.

External links[edit]