Extraordinary Remedies are somewhat archaic but can be nonetheless essential in the pursuit of justice where no other avenue is available. The most notable of such remedies are the writs of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition. Preserved by Part XXVI of the Criminal Code, these remedies allow the Superior Court of Justice to control the actions of the lower court (the Ontario Court of Justice) where the lower court acts outside of the powers granted by the statutes that create it.
The difference between an Extraordinary Remedy application and an appeal is essentially that the higher court is deciding whether the lower court had the power to make a decision in the first place rather than reviewing a decision’s correctness. The application can be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The most common criminal law application for an Extraordinary Remedy is to quash a Preliminary Inquiry judge’s order to commit an accused to stand trial. This is done by way of an Order of certiorari. Another application of these practices and principles is where a lower court judge has acted outside of their limited powers by attempting to ban a particular advocate from appearing before them, an issue upon which Mr. Clark has also been counsel on occasion (see M. v. Ontario). In such situations where there is no avenue of appeal clearly available, Mr. Clark may nonetheless be able to assist you.
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