Respondent Guidebook for Crown Appeals


3.1 Review the transcript of your trial and sentence proceedings

When the Crown files its notice of appeal, the registrar will order a transcript of your trial or sentence proceedings. A transcript is a typed record of everything that was said at your trial. It will contain the basic information you will use for your argument in response to the appeal. Once the registrar receives the transcript, he or she will send you or your lawyer a copy of it. You should review the transcript when you receive it.

3.2 Prepare your written argument

It is a good idea to prepare and file a written outline of your argument. This is called a factum when it is filed by a lawyer but is called a written argument if you file it yourself. Your written argument should not be longer than 15 pages. At the hearing, you should base your oral arguments on the outline that you have presented in your written argument. Your written argument helps you to clearly explain your argument to the court.

File your original written argument at the registry office within 10 days after you receive the Crown’s factum (for a sentence appeal) or within 30 days after you receive the Crown’s factum (for any other Crown appeal).

3.3 Do some research

Refer, if possible, to any reported court decisions (judgments) that support your position. Try to use decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan or courts of appeal from other provinces.

You can look up Canadian legislation and legal cases on the website of the Canadian Legal Information Institute.

You can find court decisions in books called law reports and case digests and in annotated copies of the Criminal Code. If there is a specific court decision you are looking for and you cannot find it, you can contact the registry office to see whether the staff there can find it for you, but the staff in the registry office cannot conduct legal research for you.


Previous - Step 2
Get a Court Appointed Lawyer

Next - Step 4
Appear at the Hearing