COVID-19

Since March 2020, the Courts of the Northwest Territories have issued Directives in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. These Directives were adjusted over time, to reflect the evolution of the public health situation. All the measures that had been put in place have been lifted and all court operations have returned to normal until further notice.

Changes to court schedules in observance of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

In observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th, the Courts of the Northwest Territories have directed that no hearings be scheduled on that day. This has been reflected on the posted court schedules commencing in 2021 and will be observed annually. Emergency hearings and statutorily required hearings such as appearances before Justices of the Peace following arrest may be scheduled as required.

Territorial Court

The Territorial Court hears the majority of criminal cases in the Northwest Territories. It holds preliminary hearings and non-jury trials in communities throughout the Northwest Territories, visiting them regularly on regional circuits. The Territorial Court schedule and list of upcoming matters are accessible by the public.

The Court has jurisdiction over all summary conviction offences created by federal and territorial statutes such as environmental offences, motor vehicle and highway safety infractions, and breaches of municipal by-laws. It also hears cases involving child protection, custody and support.

In addition, the Territorial Court hears civil disputes where the monetary amount does not exceed $35,000. It provides a convenient and inexpensive forum with procedures that are faster and less formal. The rules and forms are designed to resolve matters quickly. All small claims matters are subject to a mandatory mediation session with a judge before proceeding to trial.

Appeals from decisions made at the Territorial Court level, where provided for by law, may be addressed in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal.

Territorial Court Judges

  • The Honourable Chief Judge R. D. Gorin
  • The Honourable Judge D. F. Molloy
  • The Honourable Judge J. E. Scott

  • The Youth Justice Court is the court designated pursuant to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) and the Youth Justice Act (Northwest Territories). It hears all Criminal Code charges and territorial statute offences brought against young persons between the ages of 12 and 18, which cannot be disposed of through alternative community-based measures. Territorial Court...
  • Wellness Court is an alternative to regular criminal court that offers a supervised program designed to address the conditions that may contribute to re-offending. Many people in the criminal justice system have issues, such as mental health problems, addictions, or cognitive challenges, that often interfere with an their ability to change their lives and stay...
  • The Domestic Violence Treatment Options Court (DVTO) is an alternative court process which allows people who have used violence against a spouse to take responsibility for their behavior and receive support and counseling. The program provides opportunities for therapy and counseling that can reduce the risk of re-offending. When the police lay a charge involving...
  • The Territorial Court hears civil claims using a simplified procedure which allows people to more easily represent themselves. The Territorial Court hears all claims under $35,000; except matters which bring into question the title of land; bring into question an inheritance; involve malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, defamation, criminal conversation, false promise of marriage; or actions...
  • Justices of the Peace are people working and living in communities throughout the NWT. They perform a variety of duties as authorized by the Chief Judge of the Territorial Court. Justices of the Peace make decisions on summary conviction matters and selected criminal matters. They regularly conduct first appearances and bail hearings (show causes). Many...
The list of persons and businesses appearing in court today, and the location and time of the sitting in which...