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Federal Court - General

. Feeney v. Canada

In Feeney v. Canada (Fed CA, 2022) the Federal Court of Appeal, in the course upholding a dismissal of an action against the federal Crown for lack of jurisdiction, sets out the nature of the Federal Court system and it's judges. In this quote it explains the status of the Federal Courts as statutory, not constitutional. As such such courts lack inherent jurisdiction and - as a practice point - their jurisdiction must be advanced by parties as a necessary aspect of their case presentation:
[11] As this Court said in Crowe v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 FCA 298 at para. 16 (Crowe) – a case which similarly involved the striking of an action in damages filed in the Federal Court against a number of defendants, including federally appointed judges – the Federal Court "“is a statutory court and, as such, has only the jurisdiction conferred upon it by statute. It is not a court of inherent jurisdiction as are the provincial superior courts…” "(See also, Ordon Estate v. Grail, 1998 CanLII 771 (SCC), [1998] 3 S.C.R. 437 at para. 46.).

[12] In other words, jurisdiction in the Federal Court cannot be presumed. Rather, it must be positively demonstrated (Canada (Attorney General) v. TeleZone Inc., 2010 SCC 62, [2010] 3 S.C.R. 585 at paras. 46-46). On the facts before me, such jurisdiction has not been demonstrated.


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Last modified: 07-01-23
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