The Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island is established by the Provincial Court Act. Judges of the Provincial Court are appointed by the provincial government and exercise powers given to them by laws enacted by both the federal and provincial governments.
There are currently three judges of the Provincial Court, and they hear matters in Summerside (regarding matters which occurred in Prince County), in Charlottetown (regarding matters which occurred in the City of Charlottetown, or in the remainder of Queens County) and in Georgetown (regarding matters which occurred in Kings County).
The types of cases that are heard in Provincial Court include offences under the Criminal Code of Canada, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Cannabis Act; the Fisheries Act; the Employment Insurance Act; the Income Tax Act; the Environmental Protection Act; the Highway Traffic Act; the Trespass to Property Act; the Dog Act, as well as city and municipal by-laws.
Regardless of the type of offence, the Provincial Court is where all criminal charges begin. For more serious offences, such as robbery or break and enter into a home, for example, an accused may have the choice as to which court he or she wishes to be tried in, but that choice is made after an initial appearance in Provincial Court.
The judges of the Provincial Court also serve as Judges of the Youth Justice Court, which, pursuant to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, deals with youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who commit offences.
On this site, you will find information about the various judicial officers and their role in the Provincial Court as well as about judicial independence, and why it is a key component of the right of Canadians to have their legal issues decided by judges who are fair and impartial.
Almost all proceedings in the Provincial Court are open to the public and observers are welcome to attend Provincial Court. The Provincial Court’s policy on access to judicial proceedings can be found at General Principles and Policies for Public Access to Court Files and Documents, which states: The open court principle is not just about the right to attend proceedings. It is really about access to information that is relevant to the resolution of court proceedings. Accordingly, not only are the judicial proceeding themselves public but so too, for the most part, are the documents that are part of them. For those who require access to court files or documents, application forms are available.
General information for those attending Provincial Court, Policies and Forms, contact information and links to resources can be found elsewhere in this section of the website.