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ARCHIVED - RPP 2007-2008
Supreme Court of Canada

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The Honourable Rob Nicholson
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada





Section I: Overview

A. Registrar's Message
B. Management Representation Statement
C. Summary Information
D. Departmental Plans and Priorities

Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

A. Process Hearings and Decisions - Results and Performance Objectives
B. Sub-Activities - Results and Performance Objectives
C. Other Indicators

Section III: Supplementary Information

A. Organizational Information
B. Financial Tables
C. Contacts of Further Information
D. Listing of Statutory and Departmental Reports
E. Legislation Administered

 




I: Departmental Overview

A. Registrar's message

The role of the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court is to provide an administrative framework for the Supreme Court of Canada, one of the key institutions at the centre of Canadian democracy. The Supreme Court is the “general court of appeal” for Canada. Through its decisions, the Court settles disputes submitted to it by the parties and plays a leading role in the development of the country’s jurisprudence, which affects all Canadians. The goal of the Office of the Registrar is to ensure that Canadians are well served by their highest court.

For this purpose, the Office of the Registrar must facilitate the work of the judges and take the necessary steps to ensure that litigants and Canadian citizens have the access they need to the Court. It must therefore seek to make, on an ongoing basis, tangible improvements to the services provided to the judges, the legal community and the public at large. This Report on Plans and Priorities illustrates this long-term vision and describes the constant efforts being made to this end, which must take account of the importance attached to the Court’s institutional independence and the framework of sound public management.

Although the mandate of the Office of the Registrar is very stable, there is no shortage of challenges: complexity of the Court’s cases, dynamic technological environment, space management in a heritage building, changes in the human resources profile and multifaceted demands for access to the Court. The Office of the Registrar will continue to rely on a strengthened risk management process and the implementation of an integrated human resources plan to face these challenges and meet its goals. Front and centre among the key priorities for the coming year is moving forward with the Court modernization project, which will have profound ramifications for courtroom operation, information management processes and employees. The Office of the Registrar endeavours to maximize the synergies that exist among the various components of the project.

The Office of the Registrar is fortunate to be able to rely on dedicated and motivated managers and employees who are flexible and are guided in their work by the Public Service’s democratic, professional, ethical and people values. The results of the Public Service Employee Survey for the Office of the Registrar clearly illustrate the attachment of all employees to the institution and their desire to serve litigants and their fellow citizens to the best of their abilities. The Office of the Registrar seeks to strengthen employee adaptability and recruit people with new capabilities in order to continue contributing to the better administration of justice in Canada.

B. Management Representation Statement


I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Supreme Court of Canada.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports.

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the TBS guidance;
  • It is based on the department's Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture structure that were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board Secretariat.

 

Name: _____________________
Anne Roland

Registrar   
Title:_____________________


C. Summary Information

Raison d’Ítre


As the final court of appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada serves Canadians by leading the development of common and civil law through its decisions on questions of public importance. The mandate of the Supreme Court of Canada is to have and exercise an appellate, civil and criminal jurisdiction within and throughout Canada, which it meets by hearing and deciding cases of public importance. In accordance with the Supreme Court Act, the Supreme Court of Canada consists of the Chief Justice and the eight Puisne Judges.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada exists to provide the full gamut of services the Court needs in order to hear cases and render decisions, and serves as the interface between the litigants and the Court. The focus of this report is the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada.

More detailed information on the Court’s responsibilities, the hearing process and judgments is available on the Internet (http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca).


Financial Resources (in millions)


2007-2008
2008-2009
2009-2010
31.8
28.3
28.4

Human Resources (in Full-Time Equivalents)


2007-2008
2008-2009
2009-2010
191
191
191

Priorities


Name Type
Process cases without delay Ongoing
Court modernization New
Manage risk Previously committed to
Build capacity Previously committed to

Program Activities by Strategic Outcome


Strategic Outcome: To provide the best decision-making environment for the Supreme Court of Canada
Program Activities Expected Results Contributes to the following priority
Process hearings and decisions
  • Process hearings and decisions promptly
  • Ensure the independence of the Court
  • Improve access to the Court and its services
  • Provide the information base that the Court needs to fulfil its mandate
  • Process cases without delay
  • Court modernization
  • Manage risk
  • Build capacity

Planned Spending ($millions)


  2007-08 2008-09 2009-10

Process Cases Without Delay

31.8
28.3
28.4

D. Departmental Plans and Priorities

Operating environment

The environment within which the Office of the Registrar must carry out its activities is continually evolving. The legal environment is becoming increasingly complicated and technological advancements place ongoing pressure on the Court to update its facilities, systems and services.

Changes and trends in court administration include:

• Continued focus on electronic exchange of information. Electronic tools continue to be more prevalent in the way courts deal with litigants and the public, as well as in the manner in which courts exchange information. There is an increasing and continuing expectation from stakeholders for electronic access to information and legal material (e.g., in the courtroom, in their offices, in the library, in the registry). Courts are adopting different e-filing practices depending on the nature of their caseload. The number of electronic cases from the lower courts is increasing. This highlights the need for greater interoperability with court users and between courts, and has important implications regarding public access to court files, and the development of information standards with respect to e-filing and how judicial information is created, kept and moved through the court system.

• Changes regarding access to court records. A Model Policy for Access to Court Records in Canada was issued by the Canadian Judicial Council in August 2006. Further, changes to the Access to Information Act, and new privacy legislation have implications in terms of privacy and on-line access to court information. The Office of the Registrar undertook a project to develop a policy for access to Court records that would be suitable to the requirements of the Court. A draft policy has been developed and will be finalized early in 2007-2008.

• Increasing number of cases involving secrecy, privacy and security concerns. Practices and policies to handle sensitive information vary between provinces and courts, and the Office of the Registrar must be able to deal with these differences. Cases involving the new anti-terrorism legislation require special attention. All of this has implications for the Office of the Registrar in terms of its ability to identify and manage sensitive court files, and requires a more integrated approach, greater adaptability, increased tightening up of its policies, practices and processes, additional safeguards in its case management system, and greater staff awareness.

• Increased sharing of information on processes and practices between courts. Increasingly, courts are sharing their experiences, on such matters as e-filing, performance measurement, etc., in a more open and forthcoming fashion and at an earlier stage, including successes, failures, and lessons learned. For example, the Office of the Registrar is also increasingly working in close collaboration with other legal communities on e-filing and information and data management. These exchanges of information have become more structured, through such venues as the Association of Canadian Court Administrators (ACCA).

• Reduced caseload of the Court. The workload of the Office of the Registrar in terms of caseload has been very stable over the last 10 years (around 90 appeals and 600 leave applications per year). However, in 2006 just over 500 leave applications were filed and the number of appeals to be heard in 2007 is expected to decrease to about 50. As it is not clear whether this reduction in caseload reflects a permanent trend or an anomaly, the Office of the Registrar will continue to monitor statistics closely. A similar downturn has been observed in the United States Supreme Court.

Priorities

As in previous years, the key priority of the Office of the Registrar for 2007-2008 is the on-going processing of cases without delay. A second key priority has been added for 2007-2008 -Court modernization. It is expected that this priority will continue at least until the end of 2009-2010. These first two priorities are considered “program priorities”, as they focus on service to the Canadian public. In addition, the Office of the Registrar has two “management priorities”, both of which were previously committed to: the management of risks, and building capacity. For 2007-2008, this last priority will focus on the development of Human Resource Planning and its integration with business planning, the establishment of a communications program, and the development of an accommodation strategy.

Process cases without delay

The focus of the Office of the Registrar will continue to be to process cases without delay while maintaining stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality, and to keep backlogs to a minimum.

Court modernization

The Office of the Registrar has recognized the requirement to modernize the courtroom for some time, and in 2006-2007, Treasury Board approved the courtroom audio-visual/information technology project, and provided funding totaling $5.1M over a two year period. The total cost of this project is estimated to be $6.5M over a three year period, with the difference being funded from existing reference levels. Work on this project has commenced. Efficiencies will be gained by leveraging investments in the courtroom with other modernization initiatives, most significantly an electronic document/records management system (EDRMS) and electronic filing of court documents (e-filing).

Manage risks

The Office of the Registrar has made progress in implementing an integrated approach for identifying, assessing and managing risks facing the Court. For example, a Project Management Office is being established to help mitigate the risks inherent in the successful completion of large scale, complex projects such as the courtroom audio-visual /information technology project; resource pressures will be dealt with through realignment of budgets; and significant staff turnover will be addressed as part of the Human Resource Planning initiative.

Build capacity

The major focus under this priority will be further development of an integrated business and human resource planning process. The Office of the Registrar implemented the first phase of its multi-phased approach to Integrated Human Resources Planning in 2005-2006. This first phase was designed to inform and motivate managers to build their Human Resource (HR) plan and as a result, a Human Resource Plan was produced for 2006-2007. The Office of the Registrar is currently implementing the next phase which will result in the finalization of its first Integrated Human Resources Plan by the end of March 2007. During 2007-2008, the Office of the Registrar plans to further enhance its integrated human resources planning process by developing and revising templates and guides, consulting with its management on refinements to the process, and communicating the new process to managers for implementation in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The plan is dependent upon the availability of funds to engage external expertise, which will be required to supplement the existing functional specialists. To the extent possible, the Office of the Registrar will take advantage of opportunities for sharing expertise, such as via the HR Co-op Team and the Small Agency Transition Support Team.

A second aspect of the Build Capacity priority is the revamping of the internal communications strategy and plan. While there is generally a high satisfaction with internal communication, recent changes in the governance structure, particularly with respect to the roles of committees, has necessitated a review of the various methods used for internal communication.

The final aspect of the Build Capacity priority is the requirement for an accommodation strategy. All of the Office of the Registrar’s employees are housed in the Supreme Court building, which is at or near capacity. Given the heritage nature of the building, changes are not straight-forward. The Office of the Registrar will explore facility solutions in consultation with PWGSC to make a better utilization of space available.

Link to Government of Canada Outcome Areas

The Supreme Court of Canada is Canada’s highest court. It is the final general court of appeal, the last judicial resort for all litigants, whether individuals or governments. The Supreme Court stands at the apex of the Canadian judicial system, and as such is a fundamental element of the Canadian structure of government. Because of this position, the strategic outcome of the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada - “to provide the best decision-making environment for the Supreme Court” - contributes to all Government of Canada outcome areas.

 




II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

1. The Office of the Registrar’s Strategic Outcome, Program Activity and Expected Results

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada has a single strategic outcome:

  • To provide the best possible decision-making environment for the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada has one program activity:

  • Process hearings and decisions.

The Office of the Registrar provides the services the Court needs to hear cases and render decisions as the court of last resort. The principal responsibilities of the Office of the Registrar are to manage the cases coming into the Court, act as an interface between litigants and their counsel and the Court, and to provide a full range of administrative and support services to the Judges. Specific functions carried out by the Office of the Registrar include:

  • Processing, recording, preserving and directing the flow of all documents filed by parties and ensuring all decisions are rendered and all proceedings which take place during the life of a case are recorded.
  • Providing information to litigants, the media and the public on the Court's processes and activities, and scheduling of cases.
  • Providing a modern, accessible courtroom for the oral presentation and hearing of cases.
  • Providing an audio-visual record of hearings in order that they may be televised
  • Providing legal services to the Judges.
  • Maintaining the Court Library and providing a full range of library and information services to Judges, staff of the Court and legal researchers.
  • Publishing the Supreme Court reports and the Bulletin of Proceedings.
  • Providing administrative and operational support to the Judges and Court staff.
  • Providing protocol services to the Judges to facilitate national and international exchanges.
  • Providing a public information and tour program.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court’s expected results are the following:

  • To process hearings and decisions promptly.
  • To ensure the independence of the Court as an institution within the framework of sound public administration.
  • To improve access to the Court and its services.
  • To provide the information base that the Court needs to fulfil its mandate.

2. The Office of the Registrar’s Performance Measurement Strategy

The performance indicators for each of the above expected results are identified below. The performance measurement framework for the Office of the Registrar also includes performance indicators related to a Productive Workforce and Sound Management. These are addressed in Section C - Other Indicators.

A. Process hearings and decisions—results and performance objectives


Activity Expected Result Performance Indicators
Process hearings and decisions Process hearings and decision without delay
  • Feedback re quality of service
  • Quality and availability of technology
  • Elapsed time for processing cases
  • Quality of library services

Expected result: Process hearings and decisions promptly

This result is the “raison d’Ítre” of the Office of the Registrar. The performance indicators relate mainly to the quality and timeliness of the service provided.

• Feedback regarding quality of service. Stakeholder satisfaction is monitored on a qualitative basis through feedback on the quality of services provided by the Office of the Registrar. Within the Court, the primary stakeholders are the judges. Externally, stakeholders include litigants, the public, media and the legal community. The Registrar regularly confers with the Judges to assess their level of satisfaction; and meets with external legal agents to obtain feedback on service delivery, through such mechanisms as the CBA/SCC Liaison Committee, the Court Ottawa Agents Practice and Procedures Committee, the Court Media Relations Committee, as well as via informal communications with the legal community. Feedback is also obtained through individual correspondence from litigants and legal counsel. As well, a survey of all counsel and self-represented litigants who appeared before the Court in 2006 will be conducted before the end of 2006-2007. The Office of the Registrar will strive to maintain satisfaction levels at their current high level. This means a service that is responsive and efficient, whereby issues are resolved quickly, stakeholders have good access to information, there are few errors, and complaints are minimal. In order to maintain and improve service levels, the Office of the Registrar will continue to improve internal business processes, to review existing service standards and to make further service improvements as required.

• Quality and availability of technology. Ensuring that the technology of the Court (software, systems, equipment and infrastructure) meets its requirements and those of users; and is aligned with industry standards and best practices within the federal government, other courts, and the judicial system in general. Users can be both internal (e.g., Judges, staff), and external (litigants and their counsel, media, legal community, the public). Key technology projects during 2007-2008 are the Electronic Document / Records Management System and the modernization of Court Systems, notably, the Courtroom Audio Visual / Information Technology Project.

• Elapsed time for processing cases. There is continuing pressure on the Office of the Registrar to process cases without delay. Monthly statistics are maintained on the caseload and an annual statistical report is published. Detailed information on the Court’s workload is also available on the Court’s internet site (http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca). There will be a sustained focus on managing the time taken for processing judgments, and keeping any backlog to a minimum. Key measures are the average elapsed times between filing of application for leave and decision on application for leave; between the date leave is granted (or date notice of appeal as of right filed) and the hearing; and between the hearing and the judgment. Backlogs are measured by the number of cases (leave applications and appeals) that are pending decision. The Office of the Registrar will be striving to continue the trend to minimize elapsed times and ensuring that no backlogs develop.

• Quality of library services. The target is to meet service standards over 95% of the time, and to maintain a high level of satisfaction of the public and other stakeholders with the services available through the Library. The Library will continue to provide services to the Supreme Court, as well as to lawyers appearing before the Court, to federal courts, to members of the Bar and, by special permission, to others in the legal field. Such services include access to the print collection, online catalogue, circulation, reference/research services, virtual library services, communication of library products, and orientation and training of users. The new Library Management System (LMS) will help to improve the quality of library services provided through integration of resources.

B. Sub-Activities - results and performance objectives


Sub-Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators
Executive services Independence of the Court
  • Perception of institutional independence
  • Identification of potential conflict of interest
Court Operations Access to Court services
  • Time to respond to requests for information
  • Effectiveness of rules
  • Quality of protocol services
  • Quality of electronic access to Court services and information
  • Courtroom system availability
  • Provision of media access
  • Physical security
Library and Information Services Access to information
  • Internal access to case information
  • Quality of storage, retention and preservation of Court information
  • Quality of access to Court information
  • Library collection
Payments pursuant to the Judges Act Reliable payment process
  • Accuracy and timeliness of payments

Expected result: Independence of the Court

The situation of the Court at the apex of the judiciary gives it a wide visibility in Canada, and to a lesser extent, abroad. In this context, the Office of the Registrar must ensure that the independence of the institution is clearly safeguarded within the framework of sound public administration. It requires that appropriate arms-length relationships be maintained with Parliament, the Department of Justice, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Central Agencies. Key indicators are:

• Perception of institutional independence. The Office of the Registrar monitors risks to the independence of the institution, by tracking media reports, and conferring with the Judges to assess their level of comfort that the Supreme Court is maintaining its institutional independence. The Office of the Registrar will continue to ensure that the implications of institutional independence are well understood and supported by actions of stakeholders, and that the high credibility of the institution is maintained in Canada and internationally.

Identification of potential conflict of interest. The role of the Office of the Registrar is to identify, track and bring potential conflicts of interest to the attention of the Judges with respect to a case in which they may have been involved prior to their appointment to the Bench or in which they may have a personal interest. This ensures that the Judges are not placed in a situation of perceived conflict of interest with respect to a case in which they may have been involved prior to their appointment to the Bench or in which they may have a personal interest. This was incorporated as a module of the Case Management System. The desired end result is that mechanisms are followed closely; there are no incidents of perceived conflict situations that were not identified; and there are no complaints. The Office of the Registrar reviews reporting mechanisms on an ongoing basis to avoid such incidents.

Expected result: Access to Court services

The Office of the Registrar must ensure that the Court is accessible and that it provides services to litigants including the processing of cases with minimum delay. Key indicators are:

• Time to respond to requests for information. The desired target is that 90% of requests be answered within established service standards (for example answering calls and e-mails, distributing documentation, ensuring information into the Case Management System and processing motions), and that stakeholders be satisfied with the quality of information received. Although the Office of the Registrar is confident that this target is being achieved on a consistent basis, it is implementing mechanisms to better track throughput times for requests for information and the distribution of documents. The Office of the Registrar is also improving on an ongoing basis access to information from its web site.

• Effectiveness of rules. Rule amendments came into force in October, 2006. Key measures are that cases are filed as per the rules, and that there are few complaints or difficulties encountered. The Office of the Registrar collects on an ongoing basis suggestions from judges, staff and litigants for rule changes. It also seeks feedback from the legal community through committees such as the Court Ottawa Agents Practice and Procedures Committee (COAPP) and CBA/SCC Liaison Committee.

• Quality of protocol services. Key measures are stakeholder satisfaction with the services, and that events are highly successful. Protocol services include organizing special events of the Court, receiving dignitaries and visitors officially invited by the Court (national and international), and providing assistance to Judges when traveling internationally on behalf of the Court. The Office of the Registrar is implementing an automated protocol program software tool to ensure a better control over the planning and organization of events.

• Quality of electronic access to Court services and information. The ultimate objective is to make electronic services and information easily accessible to both internal and external users. The Office of the Registrar is not yet achieving target in this regard as e-filing has proven to be more challenging to implement than originally anticipated. A key project during 2007-2008 will be the Electronic Document / Records Management System (EDRMS) that is critical to providing more functional e-filing and internet services in the long term. The Office of the Registrar will also develop and implement a policy for electronic access to Court records taking into consideration the model policy recommended by the Canadian Judicial Council.

• Courtroom system reliability. The reliability of the Courtroom equipment is critical to avoiding disruptions to Courtroom services. Treasury Board approved the Courtroom Audio-Visual / Information Technology Project, and provided funding in the amount of $5.1M over a two year period to address this concern. The project has started, and is expected to cost roughly $6.5M over a three year period. The difference between total estimated cost and funds received will be provided from existing reference levels.

• Provision of media access. . Significant progress has been made in recent years to improve the quality of media access by allowing, in some case, members of the media sufficient time to read a decision and reasons for judgment in some cases before they become public. (This process is known as a media lock-up.) Although the media has generally been satisfied with the information provided, the Office of the Registrar will be endeavoring to further customize the information provided to the specific requirements of the media, and to enable the media to access more information on a self-serve basis, mainly via the internet.

• Physical security. The Office of the Registrar completed a Business Continuity Plan in 2006-2007, which will require annual updating to ensure it remains relevant. In accordance with the recent security audit, the Office of the Registrar will conduct ongoing threat and risk assessments, in order to maintain a high level of security of the facilities.

Expected result: Access to information

The Office of the Registrar will be continuing to develop and implement its long term strategy to improve the management of, and access to, information. Key indicators are:

Internal access to case information. Enhancements will continue to be made to the Court’s Case Management System as users rely heavily on this application, with a view to ensuring that case information is readily available in electronic format, that the information is up-to-date, complete and accurate, and that a consistent quality of information is available to users.

Quality of storage, retention and preservation of Court information. That is, the quality of storage, retention and preservation of Court records. Specific challenges revolve around the introduction of information standards (e.g., metadata, classification, naming conventions), streamlined policy documentation, consistent and adequate management processes and controls (including the management of Judges’ private papers), and long term archival requirements across various formats and media. The Electronic Document / Records Management System (EDRMS) and E-filing projects will support the achievement of this objective.

Expected result: Reliable payment process for payments pursuant to the Judges Act.

The accuracy and timeliness of payments are monitored on an ongoing basis.

C. Other Indicators

The key indicators are:

Motivated and committed workforce. The Office of the Registrar utilizes resuets of Public Service Employee Surveys to assess the motivation and commitment of employees, as well as turnover and absenteeism statistics and employee feedback.

Skilled workforce. The Office of the Registrar continues to be concerned about emerging competency gaps, and limitations in back-up capacity. The Court modernization, when completed, will require new skills and competencies, further exacerbating the situation. The development of the first integrated Human Resource Business Plan and enhancements to the integrated planning process are intended to address these issues.

Expected Result: Sound Management

There is one indicator for this expected result:

Conformity to the Management Accountability Framework: The Office of the Registrar carries out a yearly assessment of its practices against the government-wide Management Accountability Framework. In addition, the Office of the Registrar conducts twice yearly assessments of performance against its internal indicators, using a five level performance scale relative to target. Internal audits are another tool used to improve services and tighten controls.

 




III: Supplementary Information

A. Organizational Information

The Supreme Court of Canada comprises the Chief Justice and the eight Puisne Judges, all of whom are appointed by the Governor in Council. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest Court in Canada and one of its most important national institutions. It hears appeals from the decisions of the courts of appeal of the provinces and territories as well as from the Federal Court of Appeal. In addition, the Court is required to give its opinion on any question referred to it by the governor in Council. The importance of the decisions of the Court for Canadian society is well recognized. The Court assures uniformity, consistency and correctness in the articulation, development and interpretation of legal principles throughout the Canadian judicial system. Its jurisdiction is derived from the Supreme Court Act and other Acts of Parliament, such as the Criminal Code.

The Registrar, also a Governor in Council appointee, reports to the Chief Justice, and heads the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada. The organization of the Office of the Registrar is depicted in the following diagram and further explained in the paragraphs that follow.

Organizational Chart: Chief Justice --> Executive Legal Officer / Registrar --> Executive Services Sector / Corporate Services Sector / Library and Information Services Sector; Chief Justice --> Executive Legal Officer / Registrar --> Deputy Registrar --> Law Branch / Registry Branch

Registrar

Appointed by the Governor General, the Registrar is the Deputy Head of the Court, answers directly to the Chief Justice and exercises quasi-judicial powers. Her office provides executive services to the chambers of the nine Judges, the office of the Executive Legal Officer, the law clerk program, and dignitary visits.

Deputy Registrar

The Deputy Registrar, a Governor in Council appointee, oversees the work of the Court Operations Sector, which includes the Registry Branch and the Law Branch. Public information services, including the management of the Court’s Tour Program, are also provided by staff in the Deputy Registrar’s Office.

Registry

The Registry is the hub of all procedural and documentary activities at the Court. The Registry processes, records and directs the flow of all documents filed by the parties and records all events which take place during the life of a case as well as preserving all documents forming the record of a case. It “cases manages” every leave application, appeal and motion to ensure that cases are dealt with efficiently, so that no time is wasted by Judges on procedural matters or incomplete filings. The Registry assists parties by providing information on the Court’s processes and activities, schedules the Court’s sittings, ensures support in the Courtroom during hearings and finalizes the documentation for cases after judgments have been rendered. It manages the Registrar’s case-related correspondence.

Law Branch

The Law Branch provides legal services to the Judges and the administration of the Court, and manages the publication of the judgments of the Court in both official languages. Staff lawyers provide legal opinions on all leave applications filed and legal editing of all reasons for decisions. The Branch also manages the Registrar’s correspondence and prepares and publishes the Bulletin of Proceedings and news releases which outline the Court’s agenda and listing judgments rendered or to be rendered.

Library and Information Services

Library and Information Services are provided by the: Library, Information Management and Technology Branch and Special Projects. Sector services are designed primarily to serve the Court and its business units, and through them litigants, the media and the public. These responsibilities extend to the corporate level where this centre of expertise is charged with ensuring that the management of the Court’s information meets legal and central agency requirements.

Corporate Services

The administrative and operational support to the Judges and Court staff is provided by Corporate Services, which is responsible for accommodation, finance, procurement, human resources, administration, security and strategic planning.

Departmental Links to Government of Canada Outcome Areas

The following table demonstrates the link between the Supreme Court of Canada’s strategic outcome and program activity and the Government of Canada’s Outcome Areas.

($ millions)

Budgetary 2007-08


Strategic Outcome: To provide the best possible decision-making environment for the Supreme Court of Canada

Program
Activity

Operating

Gross
Budgetary
Expenditures

Less:
Respendable Revenue

Net
Budgetary
Expenditures

Process hearings and decisions

31.8

31.8

-

31.8

 

Total

31.8

31.8

-

31.8


 


Program Activity

Total Main Estimates

Adjustments (Planned Spending not in Main Estimates)

Total Planned Spending

Process hearings and decisions
31.8
-
31.8

 

Total

31.8
-
31.8

The Supreme Court of Canada’s program activity contributes to the achievement of all of the Government of Canada’s outcome areas.

B. Financial Tables

Table 1: Departmental Planned Spending and Full Time Equivalents


($ millions) Forecast Spending
2006-2007
Planned
Spending
2007-2008
Planned
Spending
2008-2009
Planned Spending
2009-2010
Process Hearings and Decisions
Budgetary Main Estimates (gross)
27.8
31.8
28.3
28.4
Non-Budgetary Main Estimates (gross)
-
-
-
-
Less: Respendable revenue
-
-
-
-
Total Main Estimates
27.8
31.8
28.3
28.4
Adjustments:
Procurement
Savings
(0.1)
(0.1)
(0.1)
(0.1)
Supplementary Estimates:
Operating Budget Carryforward from 2005-2006
1.0
-
-
-
Compensation for collective agreements
0.3
-
-
-
Funding for the Courtroom Audio-Visual / Information Technology Project
1.5
-
-
-
Total Adjustments
2.7
(0.1)
(0.1)
(0.1)
Total Planned Spending
30.5
31.7
28.2
28.3

Less: Non respendable revenue

Plus: Cost of services received without charge

 

(0.2)

 

5.5

 

 

 

(0.2)

 

5.5

 

 

 

(0.2)

 

5.6

 

 

 

(0.2)

 

5.7

 

 

Total Departmental Spending
35.8
37.0
33.6
33.8
Full Time Equivalents
191
191
191
191

Total Planned Spending reflects the approval of the Courtroom Audio-Visual / Information Technology Project, which will be taking place from 2006-2007 to 2008-2009. Note that project work during 2008-2009 will be funded within Supreme Court of Canada reference levels. No other major changes are anticipated at this time.

Table 2: Voted and Statutory Items
($ millions)


Vote or Statutory Item
Supreme Court of Canada 2007-2008 Main Estimates
2008-2009 Main Estimates
50
Program Expenditures
24.5
20.9
(S)
Judges' salaries, allowances and annuities, annuities to spouses and children of judges lumpsum payments to spouses of judges who die while in office.
5.0
5.1
(S)
Contributions to employee benefit plans
2.3
2.3
Total Supreme Court of Canada
31.8
28.3

Table 3: Services Received Without Charge


($ millions) 2007-2008

Accommodation provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)

Contributions covering employers’ share of employees’ insurance premiums and expenditures paid by TBS

4.6

 

0.9

Total 2007-08 Services received without charge
5.5

Table 4: Summary of Capital Spending by Program Activity


($ millions)
Forecast
Spending
2006-2007
Planned
Spending
2007-2008
Planned
Spending
2008-2009
Planned
Spending
2009-2010
Process Hearings and Decisions
1.9
2.6
1.0
0.5
Total
1.9
2.6
1.0
0.5

Table 5: Sources of Respendable and Non-Respendable Revenue

Respendable Revenue

($ millions) Forecast Revenue 2006-2007 Planned Revenue 2007-2008 Planned Revenue 2008-2009 Planned Revenue 2009-2010
Process Hearings and Decisions
-
-
-
-
Total Respendable Revenue
-
-
-
-

Non-Respendable Revenue

($ millions)
Forecast Revenue 2006-2007 Planned Revenue 2007-2008 Planned Revenue 2008-2009 Planned Revenue 2009-2010
Process Hearings and Decisions        
Judge's contributions towards annuities
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Sales of goods, services and information products
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Total Non-Respendable Revenue
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
Total Respendable and Non-respendable Revenue
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2

Table 6: Resource Requirement by Branch or Sector


  2007-2008
($ millions) Process Hearings and Decisions Total Planned Spending
Executive Services
5.7
5.7
Court Operations
7.4
7.4
Library and Information Services
6.1
6.1
Corporate Services
7.6
7.6
Payments Pursuant to the Judges' Act
5.0
5.0
Total
31.8
31.8

Table 7: Details on Project Spending

The SCC continued work on two significant projects in 2006-2007. The first project is a refit of the SCC building’s east entrance, and is designed to improve both the accessibility to and security of the building. Funding for this project in the amount of $773,000 was approved by Treasury Board. The project was originally expected to be completed in 2006-2007, but due to construction delays is now planned for completion early in 2007-2008.

The SCC also commenced work on a project to replace the existing audio-visual equipment in the courtroom, and to add modern information technology capabilities. Because the court hearing schedule limits the time available to implement the project, the completion date of this project is anticipated to be in 2008-2009. This project received Effective Project Approval and expenditure authority in October, 2006. Funds totalling $5.1M were approved for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. The total cost of the project is estimated at $6.5M, with the difference to be funded from existing reference levels.

Supplementary information on project spending can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20062007/p3a-eng.asp.


($ millions) Current Estimated Total Cost Forecast Spending to March 31, 2007 Planned Spending 2007-2008 Planned Spending 2008-2009 Planned Spending 2009-2010
Process hearings and decisions          
East entrance refit 1.0 1.0 - - -
Courtroom audio-visual and information technology 6.2 2.0 3.7 0.5 -
           

Table 8: Internal Audits


Name of Internal Audit Audit Type Status Expected Completion Date
Contracting and Procurement Audit Assurance
Audit
In progress
March 2007
Link to Internal Audit Plan: In line with the Treasury Board Internal Audit Policy, future internal audits for small departments and agencies, will be centralized at, and conducted by the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) on a horizontal basis. The OCG has not as yet established its plan for upcoming internal audits. The policy allows small departments and agencies the option, if deemed necessary, to conduct additional internal audits. At this point in time, the Office of the Registrar has not determined whether this will be required.

Evaluation: The Supreme Court of Canada does not have a program evaluation function due to the nature of the work it is mandated to achieve. The Office of the Registrar assesses and reports on its performance through annual Departmental Performance Reports (http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/aboutcourt/Performance/index-eng.asp).

C. Contacts for Further Information


Supreme Court of Canada Building
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0J1
World Wide Web:
http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/
General Enquiries
Telephone:
(613) 995-4330
Fax: (613) 996-3063


Internet Access
reception@scc-csc.gc.ca
Anne Roland - Registrar
Telephone: (613) 996-9277
E-mail:
reception@scc-csc.gc.ca
Louise Meagher - Deputy Registrar
Telephone: (613) 996-7521
E-mail:
registry-greffe@scc-csc.gc.ca
Carolyn McDonald - Director General,
Corporate Services
Telephone: (613) 996-0429
E-mail:
mcdonaldc@scc-csc.gc.ca

D. Listing of Statutory and Departmental Reports


Supreme Court Reports

Pursuant to section 17 of the Supreme Court Act, the Registrar or the Deputy Registrar, as the Chief Justice directs, is responsible for the publication of the judgments of the Court in the Supreme Court Reports, which include all the reasons for judgment rendered by the Court in a given calendar year.


E. Legislation Administered


Supreme Court Act        R.S.C., 1985, C.S-26 as amended
Judges Act                      R.S.C., 1985, C.J-1 as amended