An appeal of a sentence or of a penalty relating to a criminal act is heard by the Court of Appeal. On the other hand, it is the Superior Court that hears the appeal of decisions rendered concerning declarations of guilt by summary proceedings or in provincial penal matters. Moreover, in these matters, an appeal to the Court of Appeal is possible with respect to a question of law only, with the prior authorization of a Judge of that Court.
The same rules apply to the appeal of a decision rendered by the Court of Quebec, Youth Division.
The Court of Appeal also has jurisdiction to hear an appeal concerning extraordinary recourses (mandamus, certiorari, habeas corpus, prohibition) as well as an appeal concerning various orders such as those concerning a verdict of non-responsibility by reason of mental problems or the inability to stand trial. Certain laws also foresee a right to appeal to the Court of Appeal (for example, The Extradition Act).
In the event of a verdict of acquittal, the Attorney General may appeal this decision on a question of law. It may appeal an order annulling an indictment and may also appeal an order to halt proceedings. For questions of law, it may appeal a decision concerning the ability of an accused to stand trial. Finally, the Attorney General may, with the permission of a Judge, appeal a penalty imposed by a court of first instance.
No. The right to appeal is a right of exception that must rely upon specific wording (see for example, section 674 of the Criminal Code). Thus, there is no appeal of decisions rendered in a preliminary inquiry or immediate appeal of interlocutory decisions rendered during trial. The latter may only be examined in the framework of an appeal of the verdict.
An individual may represent himself or herself alone, without the assistance of a lawyer. Only lawyers are authorized to represent another person. In all cases it is highly recommended that one consult a lawyer before instituting appeal procedures. The staff of the Office of the Court will inform one concerning the Court and its rules but may not, in any case, provide judicial opinions or draft legal proceedings.
Generally, if you are represented by a lawyer you do not have the right to be present except by exception or authorization of a Judge of the Court. If you are not represented by a lawyer you have the right to be present. However, the Court may order to proceed by conference call if it concerns an application for authorization to appeal or for proceedings ancillary to the appeal. The Court may also order that the appeal proceed by means of closed circuit television or any other method that allows the Judges and the parties to see each other and to communicate simultaneously.
Generally the delay for appeal is 30 days from the date of judgment. Certain statutes may, however, establish a different delay. In all cases it is strongly recommended that a lawyer be consulted without delay.
Upon request, a Judge of the Court may prolong the delay. The motion must set out the reasons for which the appeal was not filed within the delay as well as setting out the reasons for the appeal that one intends to raise.
Again, prior consultation with a lawyer is strongly recommended.
The appeal of a guilty verdict requires either a notice of appeal or a motion for permission to appeal presentable before a Judge.
If only questions of law are raised (that is to say, for example, if neither the burden of proof nor the credibility of the witnesses is in question), a notice of appeal in conformity with the rules of the Court must be filed with the Clerk.
On the other hand, if the reasons for the appeal contain questions of fact (i.e. that the understanding of the facts by the Judge is contested) or of questions of fact and of law (i.e. that the understanding of the facts or of the credibility of the witnesses, with respect to the rule of law, is in question), an authorization must be obtained by means of a motion before a Judge. For any other reason, authorization must be obtained from the Court.
An authorization to appeal must be obtained by means of a motion made before a Judge.
A notice of appeal contains the following information:
By motion accompanied by a sworn statement that contains the information set out in the preceding question. This motion must be served upon the Attorney General’s Prosecutor or the Prosecutor of Public Prosecutions of Canada and filed at the Office of the Court together with a notice of presentation setting out the date, the hour and the room where the motion will be heard.
All documents necessary for the consideration of the motion must be attached thereto, notably, proceedings, exhibits, pertinent depositions, minutes and judgments or excerpts, therefrom as the file of first instance is not available to the Court.
In the case of permission to appeal a guilty verdict the Court may, upon request made within 7 days, examine the request again. In the case of a sentence, the refusal by the Judge to authorize an appeal is not revisable by the Court. It is, however, possible to request authorization of the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal from a judgment refusing permission to appeal.
No. However, the Criminal Code foresees the possibility of requesting a deferral of the payment of a fine, of the payment of a compensatory surcharge or of certain conditions contained in an order for probation. This request should be presented by means of a motion to a Judge who has the discretion to hear it if he is convinced that the interests of justice so requires (article 683 (5) of the Criminal Code). Similarly, a Judge could suspend an order of interdiction to drive until the definitive decision on appeal is rendered (article 261 of the Criminal Code).
A request for suspension could be presented to the Court in view of its general powers as set out in article 683 (3) of the Criminal Code.
A Judge may, upon motion to this effect, liberate an appellant awaiting the decision of the Court. The particularities pertaining to this motion are set out in article 53 of the Rules of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Criminal Matters.
The decision of the Judge may be revised by the Court if the Chief Justice authorizes it.
The Court has offices in Montreal and in Quebec City. Appeals of judgments rendered in the district of Beauharnois, Bedford, Drummond, Gatineau, Iberville, Joliette, Labelle, Laval, Longueuil, Megantic, Montreal, Pontiac, Richelieu, Saint-François and Terrebonne are brought before the Court sitting in Montreal and appeals from judgments rendered in other districts are brought in Quebec City.
The notice of appeal and the motion for authorization to appeal are filed at the Court. A file is opened at the Court as of the reception of a request to appeal.
Other than fees incurred in the preparation of the factum there are no Clerking fees payable in criminal matters. An appeal in a provincial penal matter is subject to the fees set out in the Judicial Tariff in Penal Matters (R.S.Q. chap. C-25.1). This tariff sets out, among others, a fee of $210 for an appeal, with or without permission.
At any stage in the appeal process, parties represented by a lawyer may ask that a facilitation conference in criminal matters be held. Such conference must be authorized by a Judge. For additional information see the section on "mediation and facilitation conference" on this website.
Except for the renunciation of the parties or of their lawyers or their agreement in a joint statement of the facts necessary for the solution of the questions in dispute, the Clerk of first instance obtains a complete transcript of the file or parts of the file that the appellant (or its lawyer) wishes to obtain for its appeal.
Sometimes, the proceeding or certain parts thereof have already been transcribed through a judge’s order. Consequently, the appellant must make sure that certain excepts have already been transcribed before asking for stenographic notes. The appellant can either order them through the Transcription Service at Montreal Courthouse or order the CD’s and hiring a private stenographer. The rules of the Court establish that certain parts be omitted, unless the appeal refers to those parts, a judge orders otherwise or the parties consent to it.
In the case of an appeal from a sentence or in the case of a file having been subject to case management, formal factums will not be required and will be replaced by a written argument not exceeding a set number of pages as determined by a Judge, to which are attached the required exhibits and proceedings.
Yes, this is possible. The Clerk will refuse a factum that does not comply with the rules of procedure of the Court.
Nevertheless, an extension will be granted in order to allow the irregularity to be corrected.
The delay for the appellant is 60 days from the notice of the Clerk of first instance stating that the appeal file is complete. The delay for the respondent is 60 days from the date of deposit of the appellant’s factum.
For appeals made pursuant to the Code of Penal Procedure, the appellant’s factum must be filed within 60 days of the judgment granting leave to appeal, whereas the respondent’s factum must be filed within 60 days of the filing of the factum of the appellant (art. 304 and 305 C.P.P.).
It is possible to obtain an extension of this delay. In order to do so, you must first try and obtain the opposing party’s consent and then contact the Clerk. If the request to extend is contested, a motion can be presented to a judge.
If the appellant does not file a factum within the delay the Court may reject the appeal upon motion to that effect. If the respondent does not file a factum within the delay, the appellant could ask that the file be placed on the roll.
Yes. For all cases that are not subject to case management, the Clerk will declare the case ready when the factum is filed or when the delay for the respondent to file a factum has expired.
The average delay is 4 months.
The judgment may be rendered at the conclusion of the hearing or it may be taken under deliberation, in which case the average delay before judgment is rendered is from 3 to 5 months. Once judgment is rendered the Clerk notifies the parties and sends them a copy of it.
Yes. However, an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada may be considered. Click here to access the Supreme Court website: www.scc-csc.gc.ca.
The judgment is executory as soon as it is rendered unless a delay has been granted, for example, to a convicted person to report to prison.
No. Exceptionally a party, by motion to the Court, may request that new evidence be submitted to the Court. This motion must show that the proof has been obtained with diligence and that it is pertinent, plausible and susceptible of influencing the verdict, if it is believable.
Yes, this request is made by a motion before a Judge. The requirements relative to this motion are set out in Article 53 of the Rules of the Court.
Click here to access, at no charge, the reasoned judgments of the Court since January 1, 1987: www.jugements.qc.ca. On the other hand, the judgments of the Court from 1963 to the present are also available by subscription at www.azimut.soquij.qc.ca .
Yes, however everyone must be dressed appropriately; lawyers and stagiaires must respect the Rules of the Court of Appeal.
The principle: The judge has discretion to render all orders so as to ensure the respect of decorum and the good order and progress of the hearing.
Members of the public must always turn off their electronic devises and keep them turned off inside the courtroom.
Example: No one may use an electronic device inside the courtroom who would appear to be:
- Having a conversation or otherwise communicating through such device; or
- Taking pictures, recording or capturing an image.
A lawyer, a party or a known journalist can, if it does not affect the decorum and good order or progress of the hearing or of the recording system;
- Keep their electronic device in vibration or discretion mode (without responding to the alerts); and
- Use an electronic device for the requirements of a file, namely to write or consult notes, an agenda, doctrine, statutes or jurisprudence.
It is always forbidden to:
- Use any given device or to have in one’s possession any device susceptible to perturb the decorum, the progress of the hearing, to interfere with the recording system in any way, or to interfere with the administration of justice;
- To make or to answer a phone call; and
- To broadcast or to communicate text messages, observations, information, notes, photographs or audio or video recordings from the courtroom to the exterior of the courtroom.
The following are electronic devices: cell phones, Smartphone’s, electronic tablets, laptops and similar equipment.
The rolls of the Court are available several weeks in advance. You may consult the website under the "Rolls" tab.
The Office of the Court is open from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except for holidays. The Court usually sits between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Each year, certain Court of Appeal judgments are translated. A party to an appeal, however, is entitled to obtain a translation without charge, whether the translation is from French to English or English to French. Certain judgments, selected by the Court, and translated into English may be freely consulted online at http://www.jugements.qc.ca.