The Municipal Act, at the time of incorporation, empowered Council to establish, regulate and maintain a police force, and to assist in the administration of justice by assisting in the operation of the Police Courts. The Municipal Clauses Act of 1896 outlined the duties of the municipality, which were to: police and enforce bylaws, maintain law and order in the municipality, and administer justice through the prosecution of offenders. Similar provisions remained in effect until 1974, at which time the Police Act repealed Municipal Act provisions relating to the municipality's role in court administration, and in the prosecution of offenders.
Currently, the Law Section is a part of the Finance and Corporate Services Division. The Law Section is responsible for: providing advice to City Council and staff regarding the City's legal rights and obligations; ensuring bylaws presented to City Council for adoption are legally correct; preparing legal documents for the acquisition, sale or lease of real property; negotiating, preparing and reviewing contracts and other legal documents on behalf of the City; and ensuring that the City is represented in court proceedings in which it is involved.