The Role of the Judge in a Court Proceeding
At trial, the Judge (or juries as the case may be) decides who wins and who losses a personal injury action. The primary role of a Judge is to act as the trier of fact. However, before trial, Judges also ensure that parties obey the rules of civil procedure, ensuring that all parties fairly follow the correct procedural steps. If the rules of procedure are abused, this may confer an unfair advantage on a party behaving sharply. Sometimes, a judge may interpret and apply the procedural rules in such a way so as to ensure that a matter moves along swiftly, fairly and efficiently. This is called judicial discretion.
Judges help ensure the rules are followed
As explained above, the justice system already has a set of rules governing the procedure in litigation so as to ensure that all cases are decided in a fair and just manner. Judges ensure that the rules are followed so that the justice system runs as smoothly as possible and fairly.
Judges may decide the rules if these are not explicit
In some cases, it arises that the rules are not perfectly applicable to a situation. In such a case, Judges decide how the proceedings will go on and make interim decisions on procedure to help the parties. Their goal is to make sure proceedings are fair and just.
Judges may apply the rules to make it fair
Sometimes, applying the rules may result in injustice to a party. For example, the Supreme Court of Canada has said that « trial fairness trumps technicalities » ® v Spence, 2005 SCC 71 (CanLII),  3 SCR 458). Therefore, a judge may decide to forego a traditional rule in order to ensure fairness and justice. Those cases are extremely rare, but if they do happen the court is allowed discretion.
The judicial / court system was created to ensure justice and fairness. It is flexible and it has the tools to ensure that your case will be heard according to fair rules.
Our Ottawa personal injury and accident lawyers are very experienced in ensuring fairness prevails in the cases we handle.
If you or someone you care about was injured in an accident, please contact one of our lawyers for a free consultation. We work on a no-fee-until-you-win basis. Call us at 613-315-4878.