By Ace Alvarez
Toronto, Ontario — Congratulations to the Hon. Steve A. Coroza, a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines, Ontario, on his appointment as a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Brampton) effective July 8, 2013, thus, becomes the first Filipino Canadian to have ever been appointed in the Superior Court.
Under the Canadian Court System, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice have “inherent jurisdiction,” which means that they can hear cases in any area except those that are specifically limited to another level of court. The superior courts try the most serious criminal and civil cases, including divorce cases and cases involving large amounts of money (the minimum is set by the province or territory in question).
The superior courts are known by various names, including Superior Court of Justice, Supreme Court (but not to be confused with the Supreme Court of Canada), and Court of Queen’s Bench. But while the names may differ, the court system is essentially the same across the Canada, with the exception of Nunavut, where the Nunavut Court of Justice deals with both territorial and superior court matters. Although the superior courts are administered by the provinces and territories, the judges are appointed and paid by the federal government.
Mr. Justice Coroza will replace Madam Justice N.M. Mossip, who was elected to become a supernumerary judge .
For those who may not know it, a supernumerary judge is a federally-appointed judge who has served 15 years and has attained 65 years (or 10 years and 70 years of age) and who has elected to serve as a supernumerary or part time judge working about 50% of the time of a regular judge until retirement on pension at age 75. A supernumerary judge, may retire on pension at any time after making such an election as his or her pension is then earned by age and years of service.
Mr. Justice Coroza was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2009. He received a bachelor of laws from University of Windsor Law School in 1995 and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1997. He also completed a master of laws degree at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003.
Prior to his appointment, Justice Coroza was a senior counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada from 1998 to 2009, and prior to that was staff duty counsel for Ontario Legal Aid in Toronto, where his main area of practice was criminal law.
Mr. Justice Coroza was a member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. He was an instructor for the Bar Admission Course (2001-2009), a part-time instructor at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology (2004-2007), and an instructor of the Trial Practice Course and Trial Advocacy Workshop at Osgoode Hall Law School where he is currently an adjunct professor. He is also the co-author of a publication entitled Sentencing Drug Offenders.
This corner first wrote on Justice Coroza when he keynoted the Capizeno Association of Ontario in Mississauga in December 2010. That story HERE.
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(Also with files from the Department of Justice, Canada)