Court of Appeal of Quebec


The Quebec Court of Appeal is comprised of 20 judges, including the Chief Justice [1].  In addition there are supernumerary judges, of whom there may be no more than 20, but whose number has varied over the years [2].

The Courts of Justice Act provides that of the 20 judges composing the Court of Appeal, 7 must reside in the territory of Quebec City (or its immediate vicinity) and 13 in the territory of the City of Montreal (or its immediate vicinity).

On October 7, 2011, the Honourable Nicole Duval Hesler was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal. Since the creation of the Court in1849, she is the twentieth 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 Court of Appeal for the Quebec appeal division by a designated coordinating judge in Quebec City. The Honourable Madam Justice Julie Dutil was so designated in the summer of 2013.

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 an ad hoc judge, that is to say, on a temporary basis, for a specified period of time. An ad hoc judge has all the powers and performs all the 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. 

The Court of Appeal has always had two locations, one in Montreal and one in Quebec City. The law requires that all of its hearings take place in either city.

Whenever possible, the panels are composed of appeal 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 over time, one in Montreal and one in Quebec City.

Every panel is chaired by the judge who has the most seniority at the Court. Sitting to the right and left respectively of the presiding judge are the judges on the panel with the second most and least seniority at the Court. The Chief Justice always presides when she is part of a panel.

Any person appearing before the Quebec Court of Appeal may address its judges in either of the two official languages of Canada.

At the conclusion of its hearings, the Court of Appeal may render its decision forthwith 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 and finally to 20 in 1991.

[2] A supernumerary judge is someone who chooses to change the extent of his or her regular judicial duties to continue his or her career until retirement and thus benefit from a reduced judicial workload. The status of supernumerary judge was created in the early 1970s with the coming into force, at the federal level, of An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Financial Administration Act, S.C. 1970-71-72 (19-20 Eliz. II), c. 55, s. 6 and An Act to amend the Judges Act, R.S.C. 1970 (2nd Supp.), c. 16, s. 5, and in Quebec, of An Act to amend the Courts of Justice Act, S.Q. 1972, c. 11, s. 1. It was not until 1980, however, that the first judge of the Court of Appeal opted for 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

Paul Vézina *
February 25, 2005

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

* Supernumerary judge

See the list of former judges