The Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) Administration of Justice Agreement (AJA) came into effect on June 30, 2011. The AJA is a tripartite agreement between the governments of TTC, Canada and Yukon. The AJA provides for the establishment of a Teslin Tlingit justice system, recognized by section 13.3.17 of the Teslin Tlingit Self-Government Agreement. The AJA provides for the recognition and establishment of a Peacemaker Court which has the authority to resolve disputes and adjudicate violations under Teslin Tlingit law in accordance with Teslin Tlingit principles and values.
The Peacemaker Court is established and operates in accordance with principles of judicial independence, impartiality, and fairness.
The Peacemaker Court provides two types of court services based on a staged approach. Stage One court services provides consent-based dispute resolution court services. Stage Two court services will provide adjudication and appeal court services. Stage Two court services is intended to be suspended for a period of approximately four years, as the Peacemaker Court becomes established. During this period any Teslin Tlingit law violations will be handled by the Yukon Territorial Court. This period will allow for Teslin Tlingit Peacemakers to acquire the necessary development to assume and exercise Stage Two court responsibilities. Both stages will operate concurrently thereafter.
- The Peacemaker Court has the authority to hear all matters arising under Teslin Tlingit law.
- The Peacemaker Court can impose penalties of a fine up to a maximum of $5000 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed six months. However, in the case of environmental offences, Teslin Tlingit law may provide for a fine of up to $300,000.00.
- Peacemaker Court orders will be enforced in accordance with Teslin Tlingit enforcement and corrections laws, should the Teslin Tlingit Council choose to enact such laws.
- The Peacemaker Court also has the authority to conduct judicial reviews of Teslin Tlingit decisions or actions as well can hear administrative appeals.
- Peacemaker Court decisions may be appealed to the Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory, subject to terms outlined in the TTC AJA or Teslin Tlingit law.
Teslin Tlingit Council legislative authority is recognized within the Teslin Tlingit Final Agreement and Self-Government Agreement (1993).
Teslin Tlingit Council jurisdiction include: adoption; inheritance; wills; solemnization of marriage; management, control and protection of Settlement Land; rights and interests on Settlement Land; natural resources; gathering, hunting, trapping or fishing; protection of fish, wildlife and habitat; prevention of overcrowding of residences or other buildings; and planning, zoning and land development.
- Teslin Tlingit Council and the Peacemaker Court will not be exercising criminal law or procedures.
- The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to the Teslin Tlingit Council government and Peacemaker Court.