Court of Appeal of Quebec

Thirty-day time limit for requesting trial transcripts and the reproduction of trial exhibits in criminal matters

The new Rules of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Criminal Matters (“R.C.A.Q.C.M.”) came into force on March 11, 2024. Section 31 R.C.A.Q.C.M. introduces a significant change aimed at improving the progress of appeal proceedings and reducing judicial wait times. Under this new provision, appellants now have the obligation to file the application in the office of the trial court to obtain a transcript and the exhibits that they require within 30 days of the filing of the notice of appeal or the date on which the application for leave to appeal is granted or referred. It is the responsibility of appellants to obtain the appropriate form, which is available online on the Court of Appeal’s website: see section " Forms ". Please note that trial court offices will no longer send a courtesy copy of this form.

Within the same 30-day period, appellants must also send the office of the Court of Appeal a copy of the application, together with proof that the application was filed in the office of the trial court and proof of its notification to the other parties.

It is essential that the application be filed promptly in the office of the trial court, as failure to do so will impede the progress of the appeal file. Indeed, the time limits for the filing of the parties’ briefs are calculated from the date of the notice from the clerk of the trial court informing the parties and the Court of Appeal that the reproduction of exhibits and the transcription of depositions have been completed (notice provided for in s. 32 R.C.A.Q.C.M.). Where the application is not filed within the 30-day time limit set out in s. 31 R.C.A.Q.C.M., the case will be placed on a special roll in accordance with s. 80 R.C.A.Q.C.M. if “the clerk finds that the case is not progressing in accordance with these Rules”. Thus, the clerk need no longer wait one year after the filing of the notice of appeal to place the matter on a special roll, as was the case under s. 75 of the former Rules of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Criminal Matters. The Court will then be able to issue the order it deems appropriate, which could be a declaration that the appeal has been abandoned (s. 80 R.C.A.Q.C.M.).


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