Legal System

The Federal Court of Canada


The Federal Court, not to be confused with the Federal Court of Appeal, was created to resolve problems arising from the application of federal laws or from the interpretation of contracts made with the Government of Canada.

There are important exceptions such as federal laws dealing with crimes and offences. These are judged by the Superior Court, the Court of Quebec, and certain municipal courts.

The law requires certain subjects to be heard exclusively by the Federal Court. For many other subjects, the lawsuit can either be taken before the Federal Court or the Superior Court.

Here are some examples of what the Federal Court can do:

  • Hear disputes dealing with specific areas of the law, such as copyright, immigration, and air transportation;
  • Decide certain maritime or aboriginal issues;
  • Deal with claims made against Canada;
  • Hear disputes about contracts made with Canada;
  • Review contested decisions made by other federal services.

In Quebec, the Court is physically located in Montreal and Quebec City. It hears cases in its own offices. Where necessary, a Federal Court judge can hold court in a Quebec region.