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Federal Court

The Federal Court, established 1971 to replace the Exchequer Court, enjoys jurisdiction chiefly over matters involving the federal government, eg, lawsuits against it and supervision of actions by federal government bodies and officials.



The Federal Court of Canada is a superior court of record with civil and criminal jurisdiction. The Court was created in 1971 as successor to the Exchequer Court of Canada which was established in 1875. Both courts were established under the authority of Section 101 of the Constitution Act, 1867, as courts of law, equity and admiralty for the "better administration of the laws of Canada."

The Federal Court of Canada is a bilingual court offering services in both English and French and is bi-jural, administering the two legal systems - common law and civil law. It is also itinerant, in the sense that it sits and transacts business at any place in Canada, to suit, as nearly as may be, the convenience of the parties. It is the objective of the Court to secure the just, most expeditious and least expensive determination of every proceeding on its merits.

The court is the only court in Canada with jurisdiction over certain specialized areas, eg, maritime law, patent and copyright law, although in some specialized areas it shares concurrent jurisdiction with provincial superior courts.

Until 2003, the Federal Court of Canada consisted of two divisions: an Appeal and a Trial Division. With amendments to the Federal Courts Act coming into force on July 2, 2003, these divisions became two separate courts: the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

The Honourable Paul Crampton, Chief Justice of the Federal Court

The Honourable Paul  Crampton
The Honourable
Paul Crampton
The Honourable Paul Crampton received a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) from l’Université du Québec in 1981. He received a combined Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa in 1985 and a Masters of Law from the University of Toronto in 1987. He was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1988. Mr. Justice Crampton was first appointed a judge of the Federal Court in November 2009 and a member of the Competition Tribunal in March 2010. Prior to his appointment, he was a partner at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP (2004-2009) and Head of the Outreach, Competition Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France (2002-2004). He was a partner at Davies, Ward, Phillips and Vineberg (1992-2002) and an associate with Stikeman Elliott (1991-1992). He was special advisor to the Commissioner of Competition in Ottawa and executive assistant to the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition (1988-1989). His main areas of practice were competition law and foreign investment law.

Mr. Justice Crampton is the author of Mergers and the Competition Act (Carswell Publications), a frequently cited competition law textbook in Canada. He was recognized as one of the top 15 competition lawyers in Canada by LEXPERT in 2010.

Since December 16, 2011, Mr. Justice Crampton has been the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada and is therefore 16th on the Canadian Order of Precedence.

See also
Federal Judiciary System
Supreme Court
Federal Court of Appeal
Tax Court

External Links
Federal Court Official Website

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt