The Provincial Court of Alberta
Welcome to the Provincial Court of Alberta, a court that has served Albertans for more than a century and has grown to meet the continuously evolving needs of Alberta’s diverse society. During this time, the Court has maintained the confidence of Albertans and has a reputation for providing accessible and timely justice to all.
The Court serves the public by providing access to a fair, efficient and innovative system of justice. We are a team of highly trained experts who provide an impartial and independent forum that:
- is accessible to all Albertans regardless of their location or means;
- maintains respect for the Rule of Law and confidence in the administration of justice; and
- reflects cultural diversity and core values of fairness, accountability, integrity and excellence.
The Provincial Court hears most of the criminal and civil cases in Alberta. All criminal cases start in Provincial Court, and 95 per cent conclude there. Many traffic, regulatory and bylaw enforcement hearings take place here. Most civil cases also take place in Provincial Court, including cases involving landlord and tenant and claims involving less than $50,000. A majority of family law cases and child welfare cases are also heard by the Provincial Court.
Although the Court in its earlier forms has been serving Albertans since the fur trade, the Court in its current form was created by the Provincial Court Act. This act governs the Court and in particular deals with the selection of Judges. Judges are appointed by the democratically elected provincial government after having been nominated by an independent committee.
Once appointed, Judges exercise powers given to them by laws enacted by the federal and provincial governments. The Judges of the Court are chosen by an exacting process that focuses on legal skill, personal integrity and community involvement. Judges are independent, but have numerous education sessions yearly and receive continual updates on the law and relevant issues.
Please take a moment to explore this site and learn more of the work of the Court. You can find information to help you if you are a participant, a witness, a member of the public, or a member of the media.
Details of court processes, their purpose, and the role of the Judges, Justices of the Peace and other officials are explained in greater detail. Also, the Court has been a leader in developing alternatives to traditional court processes, and partners with other agencies that provide fair, efficient and accessible alternatives to court. On this site are links to alternative process and courts like the Drug Courts, the Mental Health Court, Mediation, Judicial Resolution and Aboriginal Court processes.