The Legal System
Ontario’s legal system has its origins in the British common law system. The common law system of justice provides that lower courts must follow the judgments of higher courts to ensure that decisions are consistent and predictable. Much of Ontario’s law derives from common law principles that have developed over time and reflect our society’s collective values and rules.
In addition to the common law, the Canadian Parliament and the Ontario Legislature have the power to make new laws and change old ones. Laws that are created in this manner are called legislation or acts.
Ontario’s courts are responsible for interpreting both the common law and government legislation when disputes arise between parties. In addition, the government can create, by legislation, extra-judicial bodies that also interpret and apply the law. In the context of personal injury disputes, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is often responsible for adjudicating insurance claims and interpreting the applicable legislation, such as the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.
The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association is compromised of lawyers who represent those who have suffered losses as a result of the wrongdoing of others at all levels of Court in Ontario, as well as at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.