all because some dude was protesting logging

posted in: Uncategorized 0

In the constitutional arrangements passed on to us by the British and recognized by the preamble to the Constitution Act, 1867, the provincial superior courts are the foundation of the rule of law itself. Governance by rule of law requires a judicial system that can ensure its orders are enforced and its process respected. In Canada, the provincial superior court is the only court of general jurisdiction and as such is the centre of the judicial system. None of our statutory courts has the same core jurisdiction as the superior court and therefore none is as crucial to the rule of law. To remove the power to punish contempt ex facie by youths would maim the institution which is at the heart of our judicial system. Destroying part of the core jurisdiction would be tantamount to abolishing the superior courts of general jurisdiction, which is impermissible without constitutional amendment.

MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. Simpson, [1995] 4 S.C.R. 725 at para. 37.