Criminal and Penal Division

The Court of Québec has jurisdiction over any offence under federal or provincial law, whether penal, criminal, or regulatory in nature. The only exception is in trials before a court composed of a jury and a judge of a Superior Court.


The judges of the Court of Québec preside over each step in the judicial process, from first appearance to imposition of the sentence, as the case may be. They are also very regularly called on to rule on applications for judicial authorization in the course of investigations (e.g., search warrants). The judges share this part of their jurisdiction with the presiding justices of the peace. To ensure the responsibility is properly assumed, presiding justices are available at all times, every day of the year, to analyze such applications.


Presiding justices of the peace bring prosecutions under some 100 public welfare laws in areas as diverse as occupational health and safety, environmental protection, illegal practice of a profession, securities, and road safety.