A Court By Any Other Name, Would Be Just As Legal

A new King means a lot of change for the legal community. The names and titles of a monarch are ingrained in the statutes of Manitoba since it was established. They have been adapted as needed, starting with the Court of King’s Bench of Manitoba.

The History of the Court of Queen’s Bench act.

There are probably only a few people around today that remember when it used to be called the King’s Bench, but the court has seen its share of name changes in its history. When the courts were first established in Manitoba, Queen Victoria was sovereign.

Originally, in 1871, the court was actually to be the called “The Supreme Court”:

1871 34 Vict Cap. 2

But that didn’t last long. The very next year the court was changed to reflect the role of the Queen, and already there were provisions should a King ascended to the throne.

1872 35 Vict Cap 3

The 1880 consolidation Chapter 31 stayed that way –

until the reign of Edward VII substituted the new title in 1901.

The 1902 consolidation would add some clarification to ongoing cases still in the King’s, or Queen’s, name.

And with the rise of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 the title would change again.

1952 S.M. Ch. 13

While it’s still called “The Queen’s Bench Act” (C.C.S.M. c. C280) today, the provision for naming remains. Maybe some extra paperwork could have been saved in the last 150 years had they just stuck with “Supreme Court.”

Queen’s Counsel to King’s Counsel

Another piece of legislation to be updated involves the practice of appointing Queen’s Counsel. The practice was enacted in Manitoba in 1909 with King Edward.

1909 SM C.28 (9 Ed. VII cap. 28)

The practice would continue with The Law society Act, 1954 RSM Ch. 139.

This was maintained with R.S.M. 1987, c. L100 The Law Society Act s. 45 until it was repealed by The Legal Profession Act, S.M. 2002, c. 44 which had no appointments to Queen’s Counsel but instead intended to change the designation to Senior Counsel. That was only until 2018 however, when C.C.S.M. c. Q5 The Queen’s Counsel Act was enacted, and once again continued the practice.

Neutral Citations

One last small change to keep in mind is the change in the neutral citations for decisions. The most recent decisions from the King’s Bench have already adopted the MBKB citation.

New Queen’s Bench Notice – Rules Amendments

June 16, 2022 – Amendments to the Court of Queen’s Bench Rules 

“On June 1, 2022, the Statutory Rules Committee of the Court of Queen’s Bench approved changes to:

    1. Queen’s Bench Rules 74 and 75 (along with new forms) that deal with probate practice and contested estates;
    2. The Court of Queen’s Bench Tariff;
    3. Queen’s Bench Rule 4.10(1) dealing with access to family proceeding files”


Probate Rules 74 and 75 will have modernized language and terminology. The new rules and forms are gender neutral and were drafted with a view to making them understandable to self-represented parties who are increasingly filing probate and administration applications.
The new probate rules and forms come into force on October 1, 2022

The amendments to the Court of Queen’s Bench Tariff include:

  •  An across the board tariff increase of approximately 25%;
  • The amount for preparation for trial is increased to the same amount as the lawyer’s fee at the trial of an action (item (r));
  • A compensable tariff item is added for written argument following trial when such written argument is directed by the judge, in an amount equal to 33% of the amount allowed per half day of trial;
  • The addition of new tariff items for triage conferences, prioritized hearings and contested emergent motions and motions before the Master to compel a party to complete pre-requisites.

The amendments come into force on July 1, 2022 and applies to any step in a proceeding that takes place on or after July 1, 2022.

A minor change to Queen’s Bench Rule 4.10(1)(f) adds the lawyers and staff with the Manitoba Prosecution Service and the Public Guardian and Trustee to the list of parties that are entitled to access family proceeding files.


For more information see the full notice above. The full regulations are listed below.

NumberTitle Registered Published
68/2022Court of Queen’s Bench Rules, amendment14 Jun 202215 Jun 2022
69/2022Court of Queen’s Bench Rules, amendment14 Jun 202215 Jun 2022
70/2022Court of Queen’s Bench Rules, amendment14 Jun 202215 Jun 2022

Mask Use and Court Reopening in Manitoba Courts

A new notice from all court levels has been issued stating that “mask use will no longer be required in court facilities effective Monday, May 16, 2022. Masks may continue to be worn, unless requested otherwise by a presiding judge in the context of a hearing.

Unlimited access to the courts by members of the public will resume on Monday, June
27th, at which time there will no longer be any COVID-19 related restrictions in place.”

See the full notice here and previous COVID-19 related notices on the courts website.

Courthouse Closures – April 13 & 14

Due to the forecasted blizzard conditions, preparations are being made for potential court closures throughout Manitoba for all three levels of court on April 13 and 14.

Updates will be posted here.

Should the Courts be closed on these dates, the Great Library will also be closed. We will be working remotely and can still be reached at library@lawsociety.mb.ca.

New Court Notices as Public Health Orders Change

March 1, 2022 – Adjustments to current scheduling protocols – March 7, 2022 until further notice

“Commencing on Monday, March 7, 2022, the following protocols will be in effect:  All judge-alone and jury criminal trials for both in-custody and out-of-custody accused will proceed as scheduled and in person, including where an accused is self-represented.”

This change includes civil trials, civil hearings where there is to be oral evidence, the Protection Order Hearing List, and JADR’s. All contested applications, motions, summary conviction appeals, and special hearing bails and bail reviews will proceed by video conference. Video conference hearing protocols can be found here.

The new scheduling protocols will be modified on April 4, 2022, and then again on September 6, 2022

The full notice with further details about scheduling protocol modifications can be found here.


March 1, 2022 – Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench – Masters – Re: Covid-19 update

“The Notices issued by the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Masters on March 17, 2020, April 7, 2020, April 24, 2020 and May 11, 2020, September 1, 2021 and January 14, 2022, are being updated with the changes noted below, which are to take effect March 14, 2022, and continue in place until further notice.”

Maintenance Enforcement Dockets and matters involving the provision of viva voce evidence will return to in-person. Child Protection Dockets, Master’s Civil and Family Uncontested List, Bankruptcy Dockets, Contested Motions, and Uncontested Passing of Accounts and Hearings for Directions will continue via teleconference for the time being.

The full notice regarding these changes can be found here.

For all Court of Queen’s Bench COVID-19 notices, click here.


March 1, 2022 – Resumption of in-person appeal hearings and chambers motions starting Monday, March 14, 2022

“Given the recently announced easing of Public Health Order restrictions that began on February 15, 2022, and, assuming the public health situation remains stable, the Manitoba Court of Appeal will resume its in-person appeal hearings in Courtroom 330 and in-person chambers motions in Courtroom 130 starting on Monday, March 14, 2022.”

Read the full notice here.

For all Court of Appeal COVID-19 notices, click here.