How Do I Appeal a Court of Appeal Decision?

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

A decision of the Court of Appeal is appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court in Canada, and the court from which there is no other avenue of appeal.

Unlike appeals to the Court of Appeal, there is no automatic right to appeal family law decisions to the Supreme Court of Canada, and you must first apply for leave to appeal. If you are successful, then and only then you will be allowed to proceed with your appeal.

The court does not hear evidence or have a formal hearing on leave applications, and only rarely issues reasons explaining why it granted or denied leave in a particular case. In family law cases, leave is denied much more often than it's allowed.

In general, the court is more likely to grant leave where a case raises an issue that should be decided for the benefit of everyone, not just the couple involved in the Court of Appeal decision.

Appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada are far more complicated than appeals to the Court of Appeal, not least because of the requirement of applying for permission to bring the appeal. As a result, it is critical that you hire a lawyer to bring an appeal to that court, and this wikibook won't say much more about the matter than that. Hire a lawyer.

The website of the Supreme Court of Canada will give you a very thorough overview of the court's role, the rules of court, and the court's special forms. It has a helpful FAQ section, including a whole section on applying for leave to appeal.


This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Mary Mouat QC and Samantha Rapoport, June 29, 2017.


Creativecommonssmall.png JP Boyd on Family Law © John-Paul Boyd and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.

Normally referred to as the "Supreme Court of British Columbia," this court hears most court proceedings in this province. The Supreme Court is a court of inherent jurisdiction and is subject to no limits on the sorts of claims it can hear or on the sorts of orders it can make. Decisions of the Provincial Court are appealed to the Supreme Court; decisions of the Supreme Court are appealed to the Court of Appeal. See "Court of Appeal," "jurisdiction," "Provincial Court" and "Supreme Court of Canada."

A court established and staffed by the provincial government, which includes Small Claims Court, Youth Court and Family Court. The Provincial Court is the lowest level of court in British Columbia and is restricted in the sorts of matters it can deal with. It is, however, the most accessible of the two trial courts and no fees are charged to begin or defend a court proceeding. Small Claims Court, for example, cannot deal with claims larger than $25,000, and Family Court cannot deal with the division of family property or matters under the Divorce Act. See "judge" and "jurisdiction."

In law, a judge's conclusions after hearing argument and considering the evidence presented at a trial or an application; a judgment; the judge's reasons. A judge's written or oral decision will include the judge's conclusions about the relief or remedies claimed as well as their findings of fact and conclusions of law. A written decision is called the judge’s "reasons for judgment." See "common law," "conclusions of law," and "findings of fact."

The highest level of court in this province, having the jurisdiction to review decisions of the Supreme Court, all provincial lower courts and certain tribunals. See "appeal."

The highest level of court in Canada. This court hears appeals from the decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal and the provincial courts of appeal, including the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. There is no court to appeal to beyond this court. See "Court of Appeal" and "Supreme Court."

An application to a higher court for a review of the correctness of a decision of a lower court. A decision of a judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia can be appealed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. A decision of a judge of the Supreme Court can be appealed to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia.

Facts or proof of facts presented to a judge at a hearing or trial. Evidence can be given through the oral testimony of witnesses, in writing as business records and other documents, or in the form of physical objects. Evidence must be admissible according to the rules of court and the rules of evidence. See "circumstantial evidence," "hearsay," and "testimony."

In law, any proceeding before a judicial official to determine questions of law and questions of fact, including the hearing of an application and the hearing of a trial. See "decision" and "evidence."

In law, a court proceeding; a lawsuit; an action; a cause of action; a claim. Also the historic decisions of the court. See "action," "case law, " "court proceeding," and "precedent."

A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."

The guidelines governing the court process and the conduct of litigation generally. Each court has its own rules of court.

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