Understanding Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court

Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court

Mayer v Rubin 2017 ONSC 3498 dealt with the inherent jurisdiction of the court to supervise the management of estates, control its processes and protect those who cannot fend for themselves. 

26      The court has broad and inherent powers to supervise the management of estates and to control its own processes. The court may draw upon its inherent jurisdiction where appropriate to protect parties before the court so that justice can be done in the proceeding.

27      In Stelco Inc. (Bankruptcy), Re, 2005 CanLII 8671 (ON CA), Blair J.A. adopted the following description of the court’s inherent jurisdiction as set out in Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th ed. (London: LexisNexis UK, 1973 — ), vol. 37, at para. 14:

In sum, it may be said that the inherent jurisdiction of the court is a virile and viable doctrine, and has been defined as being the reserve or fund of powers, a residual source of powers, which the court may draw upon as necessary whenever it is just or equitable to do so, in particularly to ensure the observation of the due process of law, to prevent improper vexation or oppression, to do justice between the parties and to secure a fair trial between them.

28      The inherent jurisdiction of the court most readily deals with issues concerning the court’s own processes. It is used to fill gaps where the legislature has not provided an answer such as when is it appropriate to appoint an officer of the court to preserve and protect the assets of an estate which may be at risk during litigation.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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