Supreme Court Decisions

Where can I find decisions of the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court issues the majority of its decisions in writing.

Search the CanLII database for written decisions dating back to 1993. This database is updated as decisions are released.

What is the difference between a judgment and an order of the court?

Judgments are also called reasons for judgment, reasons or decisions. A judgement is the explanation the court gives at the conclusion of a hearing, explaining why an order is being made.

By contrast, an order is the formal expression of the ruling of the court.

How and when are reasons for judgment delivered?

Reasons for judgment may be delivered immediately after the hearing ends. However, often the judge will reserve judgment, which means the judge will take some time to consider the matter before issuing the judgment. When a judgment is reserved, it is usually written, though it may be delivered orally.

Reserved judgments, once released, are posted to CanLII and may be available to legal publishers (unless subject to publication restrictions).

Decisions given orally by the court in the courtroom at the conclusion of a hearing are not available from the database.