|Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta|
Entrance of the Queen's Bench of Alberta building in Calgary (demolished 2007)
|Website||Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta|
|Currently||Mary T. Moreau|
|Associate Chief Justice|
|Currently||John D. Rooke|
The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (abbreviated in citations as ABQB or Alta. Q.B.) is the superior court of the Canadian province of Alberta. The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta in Calgary was relocated to the Calgary Courts Centre in 2007. The Court of Queen's Bench has been located at the Law Courts building in Edmonton since the 1970s.
The Court originates from the old Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories. Two years after Alberta became a province in 1905, the Court was reorganized as the Supreme Court of Alberta and several lower District Courts possessing a more limited jurisdiction. In 1921, the Supreme Court was reorganized to have an independent trial division (Supreme Court of Alberta Trial Division), and an independent appellate division (Supreme Court of Alberta Appellate Division), the precursor to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. It was not until June 30, 1979 that the Supreme Court Trial Division received its current name as the "Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta".
The District Courts created in 1907 were amalgamated into the District Court of Northern Alberta and the District Court of Southern Alberta in 1935, merging altogether into the District Court of Alberta in 1975. In 1979, it merged for the last time, this time back with the Supreme Court, into the Court of Queen's Bench.
The Court consists of a Chief Justice of the Court, an Associate Chief Justice, and several judges including those judges who have elected supernumerary status after many years of service and after having attained eligibility for retirement (typically at age 65).
A justice of the Court of Appeal of Alberta is an ex officio justice of the Court of Queen's Bench and may sit on that Court. Likewise, a justice of the Court of Queen's Bench may sit on a panel of the Court of Appeal, by invitation of the Chief Justice of Alberta. It is important not to confuse the Chief Justice of Alberta and the Chief Justice of the Court of the Queen's Bench. The former is the chief justice of the province and sits on the Court of Appeal, while the latter is the chief justice of a court and sits on the Court of Queen's Bench.
The province is divided into 11 districts with court sitting in 13 different locations (some districts have a primary and a secondary locations). In 2010 the locations were:
As a superior court, it has inherent jurisdiction and therefore, may hear matters despite absence of specific statutory delegation. Thus, it operates as a civil and criminal trial court, hears surrogate matters, as well as certain appeals from the Provincial Court of Alberta.
Appeals from the Court lie with the Court of Appeal. Civil procedure before the Court are set out in the Alberta Rules of Court.
Although provincial superior courts are administered by the provinces, they are considered to be section 96 courts (from section 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867). Therefore, appointments to the Court are within federal jurisdiction and made by cabinet.
The Court of Queen's Bench Act sets out the styling convention of the Court in section 2(2). During the reign of a Queen, it is known as the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. Should the monarchy be vested in a King, it will be known as the Court of King's Bench of Alberta.