Ontario Civil

Administrative Law

Judicial review

Jurisdiction of court to review

Criminal Proceedings Rules do not confer jurisdiction on court

Complainant alleged police officer discharged firearms 19 times while making arrest with one bullet striking her causing serious injury. Complainant was in home at time of shooting and was not involved in altercation. Shooting was investigated by Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and Director of SIU declined to lay charges. Complainant applied for order in nature of mandamus with certiorari in aid mandating Director to lay charges against police officers however, application judge agreed with defendants and dismissed application without prejudice to complainant to commence application under Act on basis proper forum was dictated by legislation under which decision in issue was rendered. In this case, SIU and its mandate flowed from provincial statute, therefore, application judge observed that case law indicated that as such relief sought herein was matter of judicial review by Judicial Review Procedure Act. Complainant appealed. Appeal allowed. Issue was clearly criminal matter, and consequently, Criminal Proceedings Rules directed it be heard by single judge of Superior Court. Indeed, application judge found that there was no doubt that investigations undertaken by SIU were criminal in nature. However, contrary to complainant’s position, it was not provisions of Criminal Proceedings Rules that conferred jurisdiction on Superior Court. Since Criminal Proceedings Rules are procedural rules only, they do not confer jurisdiction on court, rather, combined effect of ss. 774 and 482 of Criminal Code confers jurisdiction.

Zreik v. Ontario (Attorney General) (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 1736, 2019 ONCA 89, K. Feldman J.A., P. Lauwers J.A., and I.V.B. Nordheimer J.A. (Ont. C.A.); reversed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 11464, 2017 ONSC 4516, Thomas A. Bielby J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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