Court of Appeal of Quebec

Composition

The Court of Appeal of Quebec is composed of 22 judges, including the Chief Justice.[1]  The Court also includes a variable number, not exceeding 20, of supernumerary judges.[2]

On October 7, 2011, the Honourable Nicole Duval Hesler was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal. Since the creation of the Court in 1849, she is the 20th person, and the first woman, to hold this position. Since 1908, the Chief Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal also has the title of Chief Justice of Quebec.

The Chief Justice is assisted in managing the affairs of the Quebec appeal division by a designated coordinating judge in Quebec City. The Honourable Madam Justice Dominique Bélanger was so designated in 2018.

To ensure the proper dispatch of the business of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Justice may ask the Chief Justice of the Superior Court to release one or more judges of that court to sit in the Court of Appeal as ad hoc judges, that is to say, on a temporary basis, for a specified period of time. An ad hoc judge has all the powers and duties of a judge of the Court of Appeal.

Generally, the Court of Appeal exercises its jurisdiction in panels of three judges, but in cases where she deems it proper, the Chief Justice may increase this number. Every panel is chaired by its most senior judge. To the right of the president sits the second-most senior judge of the panel, to the left the junior judge. The Chief Justice always presides when she is part of a panel.

The Court of Appeal has always had two locations: one in Montreal and one in Quebec City. Although virtually all hearings take place in one of these two cities, hearings of the Court may occasionally be held in another district if the Chief Justice so orders. In addition, the Courts of Justice Act provides that among the 22 judges of the Court, seven must reside in the territory of Quebec City (or its immediate vicinity) and 15 in the territory of the City of Montreal (or its immediate vicinity). Whenever possible, the panels are composed of judges from both districts of appeal. The goal is simple: to allow judges of the two districts to work together and thereby to avoid developing two different methodologies in Montreal and in Quebec City. 

At the conclusion of its hearings, the Court of Appeal may render its decision immediately from the bench (by giving short reasons which are generally, but not always, noted in the minutes of the hearing or by recording the conclusions in the minutes of the hearing, with reasons to follow in the following days) or take the matter under advisement. Occasionally, but less frequently, the Court may adjourn the hearing for a few days (such as from Tuesday to Friday morning of the same week), at which time it will render its judgment or take the matter under advisement.


[1] The number of judges was increased to five in 1857, six in 1881, 12 in 1920, 15 in 1970, 16 in 1977, 19 in 1989, 20 in 1991 and finally to 22 in 2016.

[2] A supernumerary judge is someone who chooses to change the extent of his or her regular judicial duties to benefit from a reduced judicial workload while continuing to serve as a judge until retirement. The status of supernumerary judge was created in the early 1970s with the coming into force of the federal Act to amend the Judges Act and the Financial Administration Act and An Act to amend the Judges Act as well as, in Quebec, the Act to amend the Courts of Justice Act. It was not until 1980, however, that the first judge of the Court of Appeal opted to adopt this status.


The judges

Nicole Duval Hesler

Chief Justice

Appointed judge at the Court of Appeal on November 22, 2006.

Appointed Chief Justice on October 7, 2011.

 

Jacques Chamberland*
June 10, 1993

France Thibault*
December 1, 1998

Louis Rochette*
February 1, 2000

François Pelletier*
June 6, 2000

Yves-Marie Morissette*
November 7, 2002

Allan R. Hilton*
September 26, 2003

François Doyon
May 7, 2004

Julie Dutil*
September 24, 2004

Marie-France Bich
September 24, 2004

 

Lorne Giroux*
February 25, 2005

Jacques Dufresne*
May 13, 2005

Nicholas Kasirer
July 29, 2009

Guy Gagnon
September 27, 2009

 

Jean Bouchard*
October 1, 2009

Marie St-Pierre
April 5, 2012

Jacques J. Levesque*
November 2, 2012

Dominique Bélanger
November 2, 2012

Manon Savard
April 25, 2013

Claude C. Gagnon *
November 8, 2013

Martin Vauclair
December 17, 2013

Geneviève Marcotte
April 10, 2014

Mark Schrager
June 13, 2014

Robert Mainville
July 1, 2014

Marie-Josée Hogue
June 19, 2015

 

Patrick Healy
October 19, 2016

 

Simon Ruel
June 21, 2017

Jocelyn F. Rancourt
June 21, 2017

Claudine Roy
August 17, 2017

 

Suzanne Gagné
November 29, 2017

 

 

 

Geneviève Cotnam
June 26, 2018

 

 

 

Stephen Hamilton
August 29, 2018

 

 


*Supernumerary Judge