Introduction
Introduction

We recommend that you watch the introductory video first. It will provide you with an overview of the British Columbia court system, and this website.

To learn more about British Columbia's trial and appeal courts, select an option from the menu above.

Glossary

line

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

line

Search Warrant: A court order authorizing entry to somebody’s property to look for unlawful possessions or for evidence of the commission of a crime.

Sentence: A sentence is the judgment (punishment), pronounced by the Court upon the accused, after a finding of guilt.

Settle: To come to a decision or agreement about something in order to solve a problem or a dispute.

Sheriff: The Sheriff’s responsibilities are to make sure the Courtroom is safe, and to look after witnesses, juries and prisoners.

Skyjacking: A descriptive word describing the offence of hijacking an aircraft under section 77 of the Criminal Code of Canada.  Hijacking an aircraft is an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

Slander: The act or offence of saying something false or malicious that damages somebody’s reputation.

Specific Performance: A court order compelling somebody to carry out an obligation, often something stipulated in a contract.

Spouse: Somebody’s husband or wife.

Statute Law: The body of law that has been enacted by a legislature, or a specific law so enacted.

Stay: A stay of proceedings might be called by Crown or the Court.  This is when the charge is terminated at any time before there is a finding of guilt.

Stay of Proceedings Directed by Crown: The Crown terminates the charge(s) prior to any judicial determination. This may occur at any time prior to a finding of guilt.

Suing: To take a legal action against somebody to obtain something, usually compensation for a wrong.

Summary Conviction Offence: Generally considered the less serious offences. Crown Counsel must approve charges within six months of the actual offence unless the accused consents. Maximum jail term is six months for most offences, but for a very limited number of offences may be to an eighteen months maximum. These cases are dealt with in Provincial Court. See Hybrid Offence and Indictable Offence.

Supernumerary Judge: A judge of Supreme Court that sits for at least half-time.

Support Payment: To provide somebody with money and the other necessities of life over a period of time.

Supreme Court of British Columbia: Conducts civil and criminal jury and non-jury trials. Criminal trials relate to all indictable offences. This court also hears summary conviction appeals.

Supreme Court of Canada: The highest court in Canada. It hears appeals from the Appeal Courts of each of the provinces and territories, and the Federal Court of Appeal.

line