Canada's System of Justice

The Canadian justice system is unique in the world. Two official languages (English and French) and two legal traditions (common law and civil law) co-exist within our system of justice. As Canadians, we are all responsible for understanding our rights and freedoms and our duties as members of society. Courts resolve disputes, and in doing so, they interpret and establish the law for all Canadians.

Services and information

Access to Justice

The Department of Justice Canada considers access to justice to be a fundamental value of the Canadian justice system, flowing from our country’s respect for the rule of law.

Indigenous Justice, Recognition and Reconciliation

The Government of Canada is renewing the relationship with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation based on the recognition of rights, respect and partnership.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects a number of rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and the right to equality.

Charter Statements

On December 13, 2019, amendments to the Department of Justice Act came into force, creating a new duty on the Minister of Justice to ensure a Charter Statement is tabled in Parliament for every Government bill.

The Criminal Code of Canada

The Criminal Code is a federal law that includes definitions of most of the criminal offences that the Parliament of Canada has enacted.

About Canada's System of Justice

About Canada's System of Justice

Bijuralism and Harmonization

Canada is one of those rare countries where common law and civil law exist side by side and interact within the same legislative framework, reflecting Canada’s history and its legal and constitutional structure.

Proposed Legislation - Canada's System of Justice

Legislation is introduced in Parliament to amend or repeal existing laws or put new ones into place.

Privacy Act

The Privacy Act is federal legislation that protects the personal information of Canadians in the hands of federal public sector institutions.

Canada's Court System

Understand how the courts are organized.

Justice in Official Languages

The Department's activities in matters related to justice in official languages are mainly directed towards two initiatives: the promotion of access to justice in both official languages and the implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act.

Legal Dualism and Bilingual Bisystemism

In 2005, the Department of Justice adopted an action plan establishing a two-part mandate for the Legal Dualism Team.

The Law Commission of Canada

The Law Commission of Canada is an independent body that provides non-partisan advice to the federal government on matters relating to the improvement, modernization and reform of Canadian laws.

Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) tool and e-learning course

In July 2023, Justice Canada launched the Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) tool and e-learning course.