Courts of Justice Act

What are the Francophones’ linguistic rights in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act?

Two sections of the Courts of Justice Act define the possible languages before the courts of Ontario.

Section 125:

The section 125(1) specifies that English and French are the official languages of the courts of Ontario.

Therefore, a French party can obtain a bilingual proceeding everywhere in Ontario.

Section 126:

The section 126(1) indicates that a party to a proceeding who speaks French has the right to require a bilingual proceeding.

This means that a Francophone (plaintiff or defendant) can ask for a bilingual proceeding. The section 126(2) defines the following rules:

Section 126(3) indicates that in an appeal to a bilingual proceeding, a party who speaks French has the right to require that the appeal be heard by a judge who is bilingual.

Ontario Regulation 53/01 on bilingual proceedings

The Ontario Regulation 53/01 was added to section 126 of the Courts of Justice Act on June 1, 2001.

How is this Regulation useful?

The Ontario Regulation 53/01 applies to bilingual proceedings. This regulation provides 4 methods to select a bilingual proceeding:

  • Filing the first document in French.
  • Filing a requisition form.
  • Making an oral statement to the court.
  • Filing a written statement with the court.

For more details, you can consult Ontario Regulation 53/01 on bilingual proceedings, which contains the bilingual requisition form.

What are the areas designated in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act?

Twenty-three areas are designated in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act.

View a complete list of courthouses.

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