Respondent Guidebook for Crown Appeals


4.1 Address the court

The Crown is the appellant, the person making the appeal. Usually the Crown lawyer will be the first to address the court and provide it with information. In the Court of Appeal, three judges (or, rarely, five or seven judges) will  hear the appeal.

After the Crown has addressed the court, you will be asked to give the reasons why you think the Crown’s appeal should be dismissed. State the points clearly and politely. At this time, do the following:

  • state the basis for your arguments,
  • point out briefly the parts of the transcript that support your arguments, and
  • refer to any reported court decisions that support your position.

If the judges ask questions, take your time answering and try to be as persuasive as you can.

After your argument, the Crown lawyer will have the right to briefly reply to any arguments you raised. The court will then decide whether to allow or dismiss the appeal.

4.2 Possible results of an appeal

The Court of Appeal may give you an answer on the day of your appeal hearing. But sometimes the court will reserve its decision (make it later) and you will have to wait. The court may allow the Crown’s appeal or it may dismiss it.

If the court allows the Crown’s acquittal appeal, it can do one of two things:

  • convict you, or
  • order a new trial.

In most cases where the Court of Appeal allows an acquittal appeal, it will order a new trial.

If the Court of Appeal allows the Crown’s sentence appeal, it can “vary the sentence within the limits prescribed by law” (increase the sentence that the sentencing judge gave you).

Appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada

If you want to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), contact the SCC registry office for information. Ask the registry office for their unrepresented criminal litigant appeals materials, or access the material from the SCC’s website. Here is contact information for the Supreme Court of Canada:

Supreme Court of Canada
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0J1

Fax: 613-996-9138



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