Guidebook for Summary Conviction Appeals
1.1 Before you start
This online guide explains how to appeal from a decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench on a summary conviction appeal on your own.
Before you go ahead with your appeal, it is a good idea to find out whether you can get legal aid through Legal Aid Saskatchewan. You should call the Legal Aid office nearest you. You can find a list of legal aid offices here:
If you have been refused legal aid and do not have enough money to hire a lawyer, you might be able to get a court-appointed lawyer or pro-bono lawyer.
1.2 Reasons for appealing a decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench on a summary conviction appeal
The purpose of a summary conviction appeal is not to retry your case. You cannot ask the court to hear the evidence again to determine whether you should have been found guilty. A summary conviction appeal can only proceed:
- with leave (permission) from the Court of Appeal; and
- if the Court of Queen’s Bench judge made an error of law.
Leave (permission) to appeal
The Court of Appeal will only give you leave to appeal a summary conviction appeal decision from the Court of Queen’s Bench if the question of law raised in your appeal is an important one. A question of law will generally be more important if answering it will affect cases in addition to your case. Even where it only affects your case, a question of law could be found to be important where the merits of your case are strong – in other words, where you have a good chance of succeeding on your appeal. If the question of law that you raise only affects your case and you do not have a good chance of success, the Court of Appeal may not give you leave to appeal.
Error of law
A summary conviction appeal must be based on an error of law made by the summary conviction appeal court (the Court of Queen’s Bench). An incorrect application of a legal principle or standard of review by the Court’s Queen’s Bench and an incorrect decision by the Court of Queen’s Bench about whether the Provincial Court made the right decision about a violation of your constitutional rights are both examples of errors of law in this context.