The Yukon Territory Act, 1898
61 Victoria, c. 6 (Canada)
An Act to provide for the Government of the Yukon District
[Assented to 13th June, 1898]
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate
and House of Commons of Canada enacts as follows:-
1. This Act may be cited as The Yukon Territory
2. The Yukon Judicial District, as constituted
by the proclamation of the Governor in Council bearing date
the sixteenth day of August, one thousand eight hundred and
ninety-seven, and contained in the schedule to this Act, is
hereby constituted and declared to be a separate territory under
the name of the Yukon Territory, and the same shall no longer
form part of the Northwest Territories.
3. The Governor in Council may, by instrument
under the Great Seal, appoint for the Yukon Territory a chief
executive officer to be styled and known as the Commissioner
of the Yukon Territory.
4. The Commissioner shall administer the
government of the territory under instructions from time to
time given him by the Governor in Council or the Minister of
5. (1) The Governor in Council by
warrant under his privy seal may constitute and appoint such
and so many persons from time to time not exceeding in the whole
six persons, as may be deemed desirable to be a Council to aid
the Commissioner in the administration of the territory, and
such persons so appointed to the Council shall before entering
upon the duties of their offices take and subscribe before the
Commissioner such oaths of allegiance and office as the Governor
in Council may prescribe.
(2) The majority of the Council including
the Commissioner shall form a quorum.
(3) Each judge of the court shall be ex
officio a member of the Council, but the total number of members
of the Council, including the judges, shall not exceed six.
6. The Commissioner in Council shall have
the same powers to make ordinances for the government of the
territory as are at the date of this Act possessed by the Lieutenant
Governor of the Northwest Territories, acting by and with the
advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly thereof to make
ordinances for the government of the Northwest Territories except
as such powers may be limited by order of the Governor in Council.
7. A copy of every such ordinance made
by the Commissioner in Council shall be despatched by mail to
the Governor in Council within ten days after the passing thereof,
and shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as
conveniently may be thereafter, and any such ordinance may be
disallowed by the Governor in Council at any time within two
years after its passage.
8. Subject to the provisions of this Act,
the Governor in Council may make ordinances for the peace, order
and good government of the territory and of Her Majesty's subjects
and others therein, but no ordinance made by the Governor in
Council or the Commissioner in Council shall,
(a) impose any tax or any duty of customs
or any excise or any penalty exceeding one hundred dollars,
(b) alter or repeal the punishment provided
in any Act of the Parliament of Canada in force in the territory
for any offence, or
(c) appropriate any public money, lands
or property of Canada without authority of Parliament: Provided
that this section shall not apply to any law extending or applying
or declared applicable to the territory by any Act of the Parliament
9. Subject to the provisions of this Act,
the laws relating to civil and criminal matters and the ordinances
as the same exist in the Northwest Territories at the time of
the passing of this Act, shall be and remain in force in the
said Yukon Territory in so far as the same are applicable thereto
until amended or repealed by the Parliament of Canada or by
any ordinance of the Governor in Council or the Commissioner
in Council made under the provisions of this Act.
10. (1) There is hereby constituted
and appointed a superior court of record in and for the said
territory, which shall be called the Territorial Court.
The said court shall consist of one or more judges, who shall
be appointed by the Governor in Council by letters patent under
the Great Seal.
(2) Any person may be appointed judge of
the court who is or has been a judge of a superior or a county
court of any Province of Canada or of the Northwest Territories,
or a barrister or advocate of at least ten years' standing at
the bar of any such province or of the Northwest Territories.
(3) A judge of the court shall not hold
any other office or emolument under the Government of Canada,
or of any Province of Canada or of the said territory, but this
provision shall not prevent a judge from being eligible for
appointment as a member of the Council of the said territory.
11. The law governing the residence, tenure
of office, oath of office, rights and privileges of the judge
or judges of the court, and the power, authority and jurisdiction
of the court shall be the same, mutatis mutandis, as the law
governing the residence, tenure of office, oath of office, rights
and privileges of the judges, and the power, authority and jurisdiction
of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, except as
the same are expressly varied in this Act.
12. Sittings of the court presided over
by a judge or judges shall be held at such times and places
as the Governor in Council or the Commissioner in Council shall
13. The Governor in Council may appoint such officers
of the court as may be deemed necessary, and may define and
specify the duties and emoluments of the officers so appointed.
14. The judge of the Supreme Court of the
Northwest Territories assigned to the Yukon Judicial District
at the time this Act comes into force, and the officers of that
court for the said district, shall be the judge and officers
of the Territorial Court until otherwise provided, but the said
judge may at his option, at any time within twelve months after
this Act comes into force, resume his office as one of the judges
of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, his transfer
to that court being in such case made by Order of the Governor
15. The procedure in criminal cases in
the Territorial Court shall, subject to the provisions of any
Act of the Parliament of Canada, conform as nearly as possible
to the procedure existing in like cases in the Northwest Territories
at the time of the passing of this Act.
16. While in the said Yukon Territory the
Commissioner of the territory, each member of the Council thereof,
every judge of the court, and every commissioned officer of
the Northwest Mounted Police, shall ex officio have, possess
and exercise all the powers of a justice of the peace, or of
two justices of the peace, under any laws or ordinances, civil
or criminal, in force in the said territory, and the Governor
in Council may, by commission, appoint such other persons justices
of the peace or police commissioners, having each the authority
of two justices of the peace within the said territory, as may
be deemed desirable.
17. No person shall be summoned or sworn
as a juryman on any trial in the Territorial Court unless he
is a British subject.
18. (1) Every lock-up, guard-room,
guardhouse or place of confinement provided by or for or under
the direction of the Northwest Mounted Police Force, or the
regular military force, or a municipal body, or by the Commissioner
or Commissioner in Council of the territory, shall be a penitentiary,
jail, and place of confinement for all persons sentenced to
imprisonment in the territory, and the Commissioner of the territory
shall direct in which such penitentiary, jail or place of confinement
any person sentenced to imprisonment shall be imprisoned.
(2) The Governor in Council shall have
power to make rules and regulations respecting the management,
discipline and policy of every penitentiary, jail or place of
confinement used as such in the territory.
19. All persons possessing the powers of
two justices of the peace in the territory shall also be coroners
in and for the said territory.
20. The Governor in Council may appoint
such officers as are necessary for the due administration of
justice in the territory, may fix the fees or emoluments of
such officers and may fix the fees or emoluments of coroners,
justices of the peace, jurors, witnesses and other persons attending
or performing duties in relation to the administration of criminal
justice, and provide the manner in which such fees and emoluments
shall be paid.
21. In case of the death of the Commissioner
the senior member of the Council shall act as Commissioner until
a successor is appointed.
VICTORIA by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland. QUEEN, Defender of the Faith,
&c., &c. &c.
To all to whom these presents shall come or whom
the same may in anywise concern.-GREETING:
F.L. NEWCOMBE. Deputy of the Minister of Justice, Canada.
WHEREAS it is in the Revised Statutes, chapter
50, and intituled "An Act respecting the Northwest Territories"
in effect enacted, that the Governor in Council may at any time
by Proclamation divide the Territories into judicial districts,
and give to each such district an appropriate name, and in like
manner from time to time, alter the limits and extent of such
And whereas by an Order of Our Governor in Council,
bearing date the 16th day of August A.D. 1897, the establishment
of a judicial district in the said Territories was authorized,
to be known as the Yukon Judicial District, and to be bounded
as hereinafter mentioned:
Now Know Ye that We do hereby and by virtue of
the authority vested in Us by the said Act, and the said Order
in Council respectively establish and set apart a judicial district
in the Northwest Territories to be named and known as the "Yukon
Judicial District,' the boundaries of such judicial district
to be as follows:-
Beginning at the intersection of the 141st meridian
of west longitude from Greenwich with a point on the coast of
the Arctic Sea which is approximate north latitude, 69°
39", and named on the Admiralty charts "Demarcation
Point;" thence due south. on said meridian (which is also
the boundary line between Canada and Alaska) for a distance
of about 650 miles, to a point in latitude about 60° 10'
north, at which it will intersect the disputed boundary between
Canada and the United States on the North Pacific coast; thence
in an easterly direction, along the said undetermined boundary,
for a distance of about 55 miles (in a straight line) to its
intersection with the 60th parallel of north latitude; thence
due east along the parallel of latitude (which is also the north
boundary of British Columbia) for a distance of about 550 miles,
to the Liard River, in approximate longitude 123° 30"
west; thence northerly along the middle line of said river,
for a distance of about 10 miles till opposite the highest part
of the range of mountains which abuts upon the river near the
mouth of Black River; thence to follow the summit of said range
in a northwesterly direction to the southernmost source of the
Peel River; thence to follow northward the summit of the main
range of mountains which runs approximately parallel to Peel
River, on the west, as far as the intersection of the said range
with the 136th meridian; thereafter to run due north to the
Arctic Ocean, or to the westernmost channel of the Mackenzie
Delta, and along that channel to the Arctic Ocean; thence northwesterly
following the windings of the Arctic Coast (termination of the
mainland of the Continent), including Herschel Island, and all
other islands which may be situated within three (3) geographical
miles, to the place of beginning.
Provided, that in respect to that part of the
line, between the Liard River and the southernmost source of
the Peel River, the summit to be followed is the watershed summit
separating streams entering the Liard River below Black River,
or flowing directly into the Mackenzie further north, from streams
flowing westward either to the Yukon or to upper branches of
the Liard River.
Provided, that in respect to the part of the boundary described
as following northward the main range of mountains on the west
side of Peel River, the line shall run along the watershed between
streams flowing eastwardly to the Peel River, and those flowing
westwardly to branches of the Yukon, Porcupine, etc., except
where such watershed shall be more than 20 miles distant from
the main stream of the Peel. when the highest range within that
distance shall be the boundary.
Of all which Our loving subjects and all others whom these presents
may concern, are hereby required to take notice and to govern
In Testimony Whereof, We have caused these Our
Letters to be made Patent and the Great Seal of Canada to be
hereunto affixed. Witness, Our Right Trusty and Right Well-Beloved
Cousin and Councillor the Right Honourable Sir JOHN CAMPBEI
L HAMILTONGORDON, Earl of Aberdeen; Viscount Formartine, Baron
Haddo, Methlic, Tarves and Kellie, in the Peerage of Scotland;
Viscount Gordon of Aberdeen, County of Aberdeen, in the Peerage
of the United Kingdom; Baronet of Nova Scotia; Knight Grand
Cross of Our most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint
George, etc., etc.. Governor General of Canada.
At Our Government House, in Our City of Ottawa,
in Our said Dominion, this sixteenth day of August, in the year
of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven, and
in the sixty-first year of our Reign.
Under-Secretary of State