Yukon Territory


or Yukon Territory

Territory (pop., 2001 est.: 30,000), northwestern Canada. Bounded by Alaska, U.S., to the west, and the Canadian Northwest Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south, its capital is Whitehorse. Drained by the Yukon River system, it has some of the highest mountains in North America, notably the Saint Elias Mountains and Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak. It was originally settled by American Indians and the Inuit (Eskimo). The first European visitor (1825) was British explorer John Franklin, who was seeking the Northwest Passage. Sporadic settlement occurred thereafter. The discovery of gold in the 1870s later resulted in the Klondike gold rush. In 1898 it was separated from the Northwest Territories and given territorial status. The economic boost from the gold rush soon abated, and the exploitation of other minerals expanded and continued throughout the 20th century. Its economic mainstays, though, are government services and tourism.

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The Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory (SCYT) is the court of general jurisdiction for the Canadian territory of Yukon. Civil and criminal cases are heard by the court, as well as, appeals from the Yukon Territorial Court, Yukon Small Claims Court and other quasi-judicial boards. Appeals from the court are made to the Court of Appeal of the Yukon Territory.

The SCYT consists of two resident judges, five judges from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and forty-two deputy judges appointed from across Canada. The rules of procedure for the SCYT are based upon those of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The court is based in Whitehorse.

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