Dalhousie Law Journal

Relations between the Maritimes and the Supreme Court of Canada: The Patterns of the Early Years


James G. Snell


Maritimes, Supreme Court of Canada, Patterns, Early Years, Relations, Canadian


When establishment of a supreme court for the young Canadian Confederation was first mooted after 1867, reaction in the Maritimes was strikingly positive. The Halifax Morning Chronicle, for example, which by no means was yet reconciled to the new British North American union and which saw the court quite accurately as "securing and centralizing the judicial authority in Canada," nevertheless conceded the indispensability of such an institution: If this Confederation continues to exist of course such a court will be a necessity. There must be a central and paramount authority and other things being favourable we would support the bill in toto.1 Similarly the chief justice of New Brunswick, W.J. Ritchie, was in no doubt as to the appropriateness of a central court of appeal. In a public address which was soon reproduced in pamphlet form, Chief Justice Ritchie was forthright in his support for the idea of such an institution:

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