Federal Court of Canada
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Civic heraldry of Canada
FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA
Arms : Or on a Canadian pale Sable in chief three scrolls, two in saltire one in pale Or, bound by a ribbon chequy Or and Sable
Crest : Issuant from a coronet of maple leaves and fleurs-de-lis, a balance Or
Supporters : Two sea-caribou Or, that to the dexter male, that to the sinister female, both with wings and tarsi Sable and set on a cloth chequy Or and Sable above a bar wavy Or
Motto: EQUITY • DROIT • ADMIRALTY
The arms were officially granted on December 10, 2007.
The structure and colour of the shield symbolize the robes of its judges, black with yellow panels. The scrolls symbolize the important documents of the law, including the Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, treaties with aboriginal peoples, statutes, international instruments, and jurisprudence. The scrolls also symbolize two principal Canadian legal traditions, the civil law and the common law. These and other recognized sources of law come together, shown here by the use of the cord, in the written decisions of the Court, a superior court of record.
The balance is an ancient symbol for justice, indicating the careful weighing of evidence before decisions are taken. Its maple leaf finial emphasizes that this is a national institution. The coronet of maple leaves and fleurs-de-lis provides a further symbol of the civil code and the common law.
The chequerboard pattern is symbolic of the Court’s predecessor, the Exchequer Court of Canada. The winged sea caribou is a mythic creature representing the Court’s involvement with issues on the land, in the sea and other waters, and in the air. The three constituent creatures, the caribou, the raven and the salmon are found in most parts of Canada. The male and female supporters represent the equality of the sexes, as well as the fact that the Court is comprised of both male and female judicial officers. The wavy band of gold represents the waters of the three oceans bordering Canada, reflecting the fact that the Court functions in all parts of Canada.
The motto derives from the Court’s statutory mandate and emphasizes the Court’s bilingual nature. The positioning of DROIT in the centre of the scroll suggests the supremacy of the rule of law.
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