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JURISDICTION - Courts - Superior courts

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 @ 6:09 AM  

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Appeal by Zreik from an order dismissing her application for an order in the nature of mandamus with certiorari in aid on the basis that the application ought properly to be heard in the Divisional Court. The appellant, an innocent bystander, was hit by one of the bullets fired by the police officers involved in a shooting. Pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Rules, the appellant then sought to challenge the decision of the Director of the Special Investigations Unit that no charges should be laid against any of the police officers involved arising out of the fact that the appellant was shot. The application judge found that the application was in the nature of judicial review and ought to be heard by the Divisional Court as required by the Judicial Review Procedure Act.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The application judge erred in concluding that this application should be heard by the Divisional Court. As the appellant sought to compel the Director of the Special Investigations Unit to lay criminal charges against one or more police officers, the issue raised was clearly one relating to a criminal matter and consequently the Criminal Proceedings Rules directed that it be heard by a single judge of the Superior Court of Justice. It was not the provisions of the Criminal Proceedings Rules that confer the jurisdiction on the Superior Court of Justice, but the combined effect of ss. 774 and 482 of the Criminal Code. Where criminal matters were the subject of an application for an extraordinary remedy, the Criminal Code applied to those applications, not a provincial statute.

Zreik v. Ontario (Attorney General), [2019] O.J. No. 640, Ontario Court of Appeal, K.N. Feldman, P.D. Lauwers and I.V.B. Nordheimer JJ.A., February 8, 2019. Digest No. TLD-March112019007