Types of Judgments
A judgment also called an "order" or a "ruling" is the official decision of the Court made at the conclusion of an appeal. The reasoning forming the basis of the court's decision is separate from the judgment and is called "reasons" or "reasons for judgment."
In the Court of Appeal, for example, the judgment may simply state that the "appeal is allowed." The reasons for judgment go further: they explain why that appeal was allowed and what errors were made by the trial judge or tribunal below.
The Court of Appeal pronounces its judgments and reasons for judgment in two ways: (1) orally, either immediately after the hearing or at a later date, or (2) in written form at a later date. When the judgment and reasons for judgment are pronounced at a later date, they are referred to as "reserved." After the judgment and reasons are pronounced, the parties are responsible for drafting the order or judgment, which is then submitted and signed.
Not all oral reasons for judgment are posted to the internet. A single judge sits "in chambers," which is where he or she will hear motions on more minor issues. As oral chambers judgments and reasons often involve simple procedural matters, only those oral chambers reasons that are of precedential value will be posted online. Signed copies of all judgments and reasons for judgment are kept in the registry file.
Obtaining Official Versions
Original judgments or reasons are those signed by the justice or justices. They are kept in the registry file and may be accessed by contacting the court registry shown at the top of the judgment. A photocopying charge is payable.
The Judgment Database on this website contains reasons for judgment of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of British Columbia since 1990 although not all reasons for judgment are available. The search template allows searches by case name, neutral citation, key words, judgment date, court, judge(s), master, registrar and registry location and number. Many of the pre-2000 reasons for judgment on this website were converted to a text format for publishing purposes. As a result, most of the formatting, other than basic layout, has been removed.
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