Equitable Jurisdiction of the Provincial Court of Alberta (Civil Division)
AbstractThis article is concerned with the issue of whether the Provincial Court of Alberta (Civil Division) possesses any equitable jurisdiction. The authors first provide a history of equity and its fusion with law, and the impact of that fusion in Canada. The authors then examine the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court of Alberta (Civil Division) and conclude that, as an inferior statutory court, it can have no inherent substantive jurisdiction, only an inherent procedural jurisdiction. However, the Legislature can enlarge the Court's jurisdiction by statute (although the authors point out that there are limits on the jurisdiction that can be granted to an inferior statutory court). The authors then argue that, contrary to common belief, the Provincial Court of Alberta (Civil Division) does possess a limited equitable jurisdiction. They base this submission first on the wording of the Alberta Provincial Court Act, which allows the court to hear and adjudicate any claim for debt or damages (and unlike in other Alberta statutes, the Court in those situations is not specifically barred from granting equitable relief). Secondly, they submit that the granting of limited equitable jurisdiction is necessarily incidental to the achievement of broad policy goals related to the establishment of the Court. Finally, the authors compare the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court of Alberta (Civil Division) to that of the Small Claims Courts in Ontario and British Columbia.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.