NWT Courts
NWT Courts

   Courts - Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories

NWT Courts

The Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories is a superior court of record and has jurisdiction in all civil and criminal matters arising in the Territories, except those expressly excluded by statute.

The Court is composed of up to four judges, resident in Yellowknife, with the senior judge, by date of appointment, having overall responsibility for its administration. The judges of the Court are also, by virtue of their office, ex officio judges of the superior courts of Yukon and Nunavut. Similarly, the judges of those courts are ex officio judges of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories. In addition, there are a number of deputy judges appointed from the superior courts of provinces who are available to assist with the Court's work. All judges are appointed by the Governor-in-Council.

The current resident judges of the Supreme Court are:
  • The Honourable Justice L.A Charbonneau, Chief Justice
  • The Honourable Justice K.M. Shaner
  • The Honourable Justice S.H. Smallwood
  • The Honourable Justice A.M. Mahar
The Supreme Court is based in Yellowknife but travels on circuit to other communities throughout the Northwest Territories to hear civil and serious criminal cases, with or without a jury. It also exercises powers of judicial review over decisions of Territorial boards and tribunals. It exercises appellate jurisdiction in summary conviction criminal cases heard by the Territorial Court and the Justices of the Peace, as well as other types of cases where appeals are provided by statute. The Court also has jurisdiction over divorce, probate and estate administration matters. Appeals from decisions of the Supreme Court are heard by the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories.

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