How The Appeal Process Works In Canada

December 21, 2022


In Canada, the appeal process exists to allow a trial decision to be reviewed by a higher-level court in order to ensure that the decision is legally correct and to prevent injustices. An appeal must be based on legal interpretations or overriding errors of judgment where the decision could not have been supported by the evidence presented at trial.

An appeal must be based on legal interpretations and situations in which a decision is not supported by the evidence presented at trial. The losing party has a preset amount of time to file an appeal. Consult with an experienced criminal defence lawyer who can help you turn the situation around.

This blog post provides a systematic explanation of how the appeal process works in Canada.

How Does The Appeal Process Work?

The structure of appeal courts differs from that of trial courts. The evidence is not reheard in appeal courts, and the accused is usually absent. Unless there is an overriding error by the trial court, appellate courts defer to trial court decisions when assessing the credibility of evidence and testimony.

Rather, appeals are heard by a panel of judges (known as justices) who hear opposing lawyers arguments. Lawyers argue the merits of the applicable laws and how those laws should be applied in the given situation. Although the case is about a specific individual, the appeal is more about what the law should be in similar future cases.

Appeals can have different outcomes. First, the appeal court has the authority to uphold the trial court’s decision. Second, it has the authority to overturn the trial decision. However, if the appellate court determines that the original trial was flawed, it has the authority to order a new trial.

Because appeal decisions are binding on lower courts within the jurisdiction, they must be carefully considered and prepared. For example, decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada are binding on all courts in Canada, whereas decisions of the Alberta Court of Appeal are only binding within Alberta. There are three levels of appeal in Canada.

Also Read: Things To Do Before Meeting With Your Criminal Defence Lawyer

Appeal From Summary Conviction

The first level of appeal allows the provincial superior court to review a summary conviction from the provincial lower court. Before it reaches the provincial Court of Appeal, the case can be heard by a higher court. The superior court in Alberta is known as the Court of Queen’s Bench.

The Provincial Court Of Appeal

The Court of Appeal hears appeals on all other matters, including indictable convictions. The Court of Appeal is made up of three justices who hear appeals from courts throughout the province. In most cases, the appeal will be dismissed here.

The Supreme Court of Canada may, however, be given the opportunity to hear the case in some circumstances, such as when an acquittal is overturned, or there is a split decision (where one justice disapproves of the decisions of the other two).

Supreme Court Of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear appeals from those parties who disagree with the appeal court’s ruling. But first, they must ask for the court to hear the case (with the exception of some criminal cases, which may be heard in very limited circumstances).

The Supreme Court of Canada governs Canadian law. It only agrees to hear cases that are significant across the country or involve unresolved legal issues. If it declines to hear a case, the court’s decision is final.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case, it can reverse or change the judge’s decision, order a new trial or hearing, or agree with the decision of the court of appeals.

Do I Need A Criminal Defence Lawyer?

In most cases, an individual can represent themselves before the Court of Appeal. However, it is strongly advised that you seek legal counsel for criminal appeals from a reputed criminal defence lawyer. Remember that court personnel are not permitted to offer legal counsel. Hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer who has the right knowledge and skills to get you out of trouble.

About Daryl Royer

Mr. Royer is an Edmonton-based criminal defence lawyer who has handled cases in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. He has extensive expertise in managing matters in different provinces and has appeared five times before the Supreme Court. Learn more about Daryl Royer and his criminal defence services.

Need an experienced and trustworthy criminal defence lawyer? Contact Daryl now.

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