Year in review

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Canada's Highest Court

As Canada’s final court of appeal, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over disputes in every area of law.

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SCC in Action

Learn more about outreach and education initiatives and the Court's work on the international scene. And meet the team working behind the scenes.

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Learn more about the decisions rendered by the Court over the past year, and read a summary of the notable decisions in 2023.

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2023 by the Numbers

This section breaks down information about the cases heard in 2023 and puts it in the context of the last 10 years.

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Message from the Chief Justice

It is my pleasure to present the Supreme Court of Canada’s sixth annual Year in Review. The goal of this publication is simple: to honour the trust placed in the Court by keeping the public informed of its work.

As judges, my colleagues and I have the important responsibility of making independent and impartial decisions on the issues that come before us. One of my priorities as Chief Justice is to ensure we fulfil our duties as openly and transparently as possible, since those decisions have an impact on the lives of Canadians.

We are living in a unique time, when democracy and the Rule of Law are under threat in many parts of the world. We are fortunate knowing that here in Canada, matters of law will be settled clearly and fairly, free of outside influence. While Canadians continue to put their trust in the Supreme Court, maintaining that confidence means being steadfast in promoting open courts, access to justice and judicial independence.

That is why I am proud to be involved in so many different outreach initiatives throughout the year to build awareness of the role and work of the Court among Canadians. I am also fortunate to meet with legal professionals, jurists, and members of the international community.

I hope you find value reading about the various ways we are working to nurture broader understanding of the Supreme Court and the Canadian judicial system. We look forward to building on these efforts and further engaging with Canadians on our role and history as part of the Supreme Court’s 150th anniversary commemorations in 2025.

I hope you enjoy our 2023 Year in Review.

The Right Honourable Richard Wagner, P.C.

Chief Justice of Canada

Message from the Registrar

As Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada, I am privileged to lead an exceptional team responsible for the administration of Canada’s final court of appeal. I am proud of the work we do to ensure a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace and promote professional development opportunities for all employees.

Our dedicated team is continuously embracing the latest technologies and best practices to support the work of the Court. This kind of adaptability is so important, as the Court heard 49 appeals, and welcomed 95 main parties and 124 interveners in 2023 alone.

Last winter, we were thrilled to launch our secure electronic filing portal for counsel and self-represented litigants. Already, some 14,000 documents have been submitted, and this transformational initiative is helping to streamline case administration and facilitate access to justice.

It is just the latest example of how we are working to make the Court more accessible to Canadians. Our tour programs, educational resources, and robust social media presence, for instance, help build awareness of the Court’s role and work. Our website, meanwhile, has long been an important forum where Canadians can access case information, follow hearings and judgments, submit case files and more. To further enhance the user experience, work is well underway on the next iteration of a modern and accessible website. Continue to follow us on social media for the latest updates.

Our employees are essential to ensuring we remain a global leader in court modernization and innovation. I was pleased to end the year by celebrating those who had attained milestone anniversaries in service to Canadians. I was also honoured to present the Registrar’s Award to members of the team who helped ensure the continuity of Court operations despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, helping others is an area where our team excels – staff raised $44,328 through the Court’s 2023 annual charitable campaign.

As we prepare for our 150th anniversary in 2025, we look forward to another year of hard work in service to the Court and the Canadian public.

Chantal Carbonneau

Supreme Court of Canada