Supreme Court of British Columbia
The Supreme Court is the highest trial court in British Columbia. It hears civil cases over $35,000, family law cases involving divorce and custody, as well as serious criminal cases. However, beginning April 1, 2019, most claims involving a motor vehicle injury valued $50,000 and under will be dealt with in the Civil Resolution Tribunal. The Supreme Court also hears appeals of Provincial Court cases. There are currently about 100 justices and masters that hear cases province wide. Supreme Court orders cannot be altered by the Provincial Court. Only the Court of Appeal for BC or the Supreme Court of Canada can modify or overturn the decisions of the Supreme Court of BC.
In British Columbia, the court hierarchy has three levels, which consists of two trial courts and one appeal court. The first level, Provincial Court, is the broad base of the justice system, and as a trial court, it hears the vast majority of cases. In most criminal cases that go to the Supreme Court, a preliminary hearing is held in Provincial Court.
The highest court in British Columba is the Court of Appeal, which hears appeals from the Supreme Court. This court is exclusively an appellate court and does not hear trials. All courts in Canada must follow the decisions of the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court of Canada. Learn more about the Courts of BC.
Representing Yourself in Supreme Court
If you are representing yourself in Supreme Court, you will need to learn about the court system, the specific laws in your case, what you and the “other side” must both prove, what defences you have, and all the possible arguments for your case. This website can help you.
Information on this website is divided into areas of law: Civil Matters, Family Law and Criminal Law. Click the menu item of the area of law that concerns you to discover a range of resources that can help you with your case. This website provides legal information, but it does not provide legal advice - only a lawyer can provide legal advice.