About the Ontario Court of Justice and Paralegals
The Ontario Court of Justice is the largest court in the country, hearing about 590,000 criminal charges, millions of provincial offences such as traffic tickets, and serves 25,000 families in crisis annually. The Court sits in close to 200 locations throughout the province.
The Ontario Court of Justice hears nearly all provincial offence matters as well as offences against municipal by-laws such as:
- Charges under the Highway Traffic Act such as speeding or traffic violations
- Municipal by-law charges relating to excessive noise, animal control, or garbage disposal
- Charges under the Environmental Protection Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act or the Trespass to Property Act
Paralegals work in the following Ontario Tribunals:
- Conservation Review Board
- Energy Board
- Environmental Assessment and Appeal Boards
- Financial Services Commission
- Liquor Control Board of Ontario
- Ontario Human Rights Commission
- Municipal Board
- Pay Equity Commission
- Rental Housing Tribunal
- Ontario Securities Commission
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
Can paralegals provide legal services related to immigration law?
On June 30, 2011 Bill C-35, An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force and all paralegals who are licensed by the Law Society are now eligible to provide legal services in the field of immigration law. Paralegals that are licensed by the Law Society can appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to represent a client or clients in an IRB hearing.
Paralegals as Commissioners of Taking Affidavits
As of July 1, 2013, the regulation Commissioners and Other Persons Who May Take Affidavits Regulation (O. Reg. 386/12) will allow all licensed paralegals in Ontario as commissioners for taking affidavits. A commissioner for taking affidavits may take affidavits and administer other legal oaths, affirmations, or declarations.