Government has introduced Bill 23 that would ensure an automatic name change of the Court of Queen’s Bench to the Court of King’s Bench during the reign of a king.
The proposed amendment would re-enact a section of the Court of Queen’s Bench Act that was repealed by the former government in 2018.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba each have a similar provision – when Canada’s monarch is a queen, the court is titled the Court of Queen’s Bench and when the monarch is a king, the court is titled the Court of King’s Bench.
“Our government recognizes the importance of ensuring the name of the court accurately reflects our constitutional monarchy and the heritage of our legal system. This change would ensure the province is ready if there is a change in the monarchy.”Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
“This bill builds on both the legal tradition of Alberta and the other Prairie provinces, and on a more broad common law tradition of naming the courts, dating back 800 years to the reign of King Edward I. The government is to be commended for having such a sense of historical awareness.”Ian Holloway, Dean of Law, University of Calgary
The Justice Statutes Amendment Act also proposes minor changes to the Court of Queen’s Bench Act and the Provincial Court Act. The suggested changes would reduce the eligibility age for part-time service for judges and masters in chambers from
60 to 55.
Bill 23 also contains a proposed amendment that would allow justices of the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal to access federal funds to attend meetings related to the administration of justice. This change would help reduce pressures on the provincial budget allocation for these two courts.