Jurisdiction

The Federal Court's jurisdiction - its scope of authority to hear and decide issues - extends across the federal landscape.

National Coverage

Geographically, the Court may sit anywhere in Canada and regularly conducts hearings and renders decisions in disputes across the country, with Registry offices conveniently located in all major cities. Orders of the Court are binding in every province and territory, thus providing efficient, national coverage.

Federal Subject Matter

Unlike the Superior Courts established by the provinces, the Federal Court does not have inherent, general jurisdiction. In order for the Federal Court to have authority to hear a given subject matter:

1.that subject matter must be assigned to Parliament under the Constitution; and

2.there must be actual, existing and applicable federal law; and

3.the administration of that law must have been conferred upon the Federal Court.

More specifically, the jurisdiction of the Federal Court is conferred by the Federal Courts Act and, at present, close to a hundred other applicable federal statutes. These give the Court authority to hear and decide cases in a number of broad categories:

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