Equitable Jurisdiction of the Provincial Court of Alberta (Civil Division)

  • Linda A. Taylor
  • David M. Wood

Abstract

This 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.
How to Cite
Taylor, L. A., & Wood, D. M. (1). Equitable Jurisdiction of the Provincial Court of Alberta (Civil Division). Alberta Law Review, 35(3), 592. https://doi.org/10.29173/alr1051
Section
Articles