Court of Appeal of Quebec


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


Guy Gagnon
September 27, 2009


Jean Bouchard*
October 1, 2009


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


Stéphane Sansfaçon
January 31, 2019

Michel Beaupré
March 8, 2019







Lucie Fournier
June 22, 2019

Benoît Moore
June 22, 2019






*Supernumerary Judge