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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2022-10-26. Previous Versions

PART XXIAppeals — Indictable Offences (continued)

Procedure on Appeals (continued)

Marginal note:Summary determination of frivolous appeals

  •  (1) Where it appears to the registrar that a notice of appeal, which purports to be on a ground of appeal that involves a question of law alone, does not show a substantial ground of appeal, the registrar may refer the appeal to the court of appeal for summary determination, and, where an appeal is referred under this section, the court of appeal may, if it considers that the appeal is frivolous or vexatious and can be determined without being adjourned for a full hearing, dismiss the appeal summarily, without calling on any person to attend the hearing or to appear for the respondent on the hearing.

  • Marginal note:Summary determination of appeals filed in error

    (2) If it appears to the registrar that a notice of appeal should have been filed with another court, the registrar may refer the appeal to a judge of the court of appeal for summary determination, and the judge may dismiss the appeal summarily without calling on any person to attend the hearing or to appear for the respondent on the hearing.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 685
  • 2008, c. 18, s. 30

Powers of the Court of Appeal

Marginal note:Powers

  •  (1) On the hearing of an appeal against a conviction or against a verdict that the appellant is unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder, the court of appeal

    • (a) may allow the appeal where it is of the opinion that

      • (i) the verdict should be set aside on the ground that it is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence,

      • (ii) the judgment of the trial court should be set aside on the ground of a wrong decision on a question of law, or

      • (iii) on any ground there was a miscarriage of justice;

    • (b) may dismiss the appeal where

      • (i) the court is of the opinion that the appellant, although he was not properly convicted on a count or part of the indictment, was properly convicted on another count or part of the indictment,

      • (ii) the appeal is not decided in favour of the appellant on any ground mentioned in paragraph (a),

      • (iii) notwithstanding that the court is of the opinion that on any ground mentioned in subparagraph (a)(ii) the appeal might be decided in favour of the appellant, it is of the opinion that no substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice has occurred, or

      • (iv) notwithstanding any procedural irregularity at trial, the trial court had jurisdiction over the class of offence of which the appellant was convicted and the court of appeal is of the opinion that the appellant suffered no prejudice thereby;

    • (c) may refuse to allow the appeal where it is of the opinion that the trial court arrived at a wrong conclusion respecting the effect of a special verdict, may order the conclusion to be recorded that appears to the court to be required by the verdict and may pass a sentence that is warranted in law in substitution for the sentence passed by the trial court; or

    • (d) may set aside a conviction and find the appellant unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder and may exercise any of the powers of the trial court conferred by or referred to in section 672.45 in any manner deemed appropriate to the court of appeal in the circumstances.

    • (e) [Repealed, 1991, c. 43, s. 9]

  • Marginal note:Order to be made

    (2) Where a court of appeal allows an appeal under paragraph (1)(a), it shall quash the conviction and

    • (a) direct a judgment or verdict of acquittal to be entered; or

    • (b) order a new trial.

  • Marginal note:Substituting verdict

    (3) Where a court of appeal dismisses an appeal under subparagraph (1)(b)(i), it may substitute the verdict that in its opinion should have been found and

    • (a) affirm the sentence passed by the trial court; or

    • (b) impose a sentence that is warranted in law or remit the matter to the trial court and direct the trial court to impose a sentence that is warranted in law.

  • Marginal note:Appeal from acquittal

    (4) If an appeal is from an acquittal or verdict that the appellant or respondent was unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder, the court of appeal may

    • (a) dismiss the appeal; or

    • (b) allow the appeal, set aside the verdict and

      • (i) order a new trial, or

      • (ii) except where the verdict is that of a court composed of a judge and jury, enter a verdict of guilty with respect to the offence of which, in its opinion, the accused should have been found guilty but for the error in law, and pass a sentence that is warranted in law, or remit the matter to the trial court and direct the trial court to impose a sentence that is warranted in law.

  • Marginal note:New trial under Part XIX

    (5) Subject to subsection (5.01), if an appeal is taken in respect of proceedings under Part XIX and the court of appeal orders a new trial under this Part, the following provisions apply:

    • (a) if the accused, in his notice of appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal, requested that the new trial, if ordered, should be held before a court composed of a judge and jury, the new trial shall be held accordingly;

    • (b) if the accused, in his notice of appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal, did not request that the new trial, if ordered, should be held before a court composed of a judge and jury, the new trial shall, without further election by the accused, be held before a judge or provincial court judge, as the case may be, acting under Part XIX, other than a judge or provincial court judge who tried the accused in the first instance, unless the court of appeal directs that the new trial be held before the judge or provincial court judge who tried the accused in the first instance;

    • (c) if the court of appeal orders that the new trial shall be held before a court composed of a judge and jury, the new trial shall be commenced by an indictment in writing setting forth the offence in respect of which the new trial was ordered; and

    • (d) notwithstanding paragraph (a), if the conviction against which the accused appealed was for an offence mentioned in section 553 and was made by a provincial court judge, the new trial shall be held before a provincial court judge acting under Part XIX, other than the provincial court judge who tried the accused in the first instance, unless the court of appeal directs that the new trial be held before the provincial court judge who tried the accused in the first instance.

  • Marginal note:New trial under Part XIX — Nunavut

    (5.01) If an appeal is taken in respect of proceedings under Part XIX and the Court of Appeal of Nunavut orders a new trial under Part XXI, the following provisions apply:

    • (a) if the accused, in the notice of appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal, requested that the new trial, if ordered, should be held before a court composed of a judge and jury, the new trial shall be held accordingly;

    • (b) if the accused, in the notice of appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal, did not request that the new trial, if ordered, should be held before a court composed of a judge and jury, the new trial shall, without further election by the accused, and without a preliminary inquiry, be held before a judge, acting under Part XIX, other than a judge who tried the accused in the first instance, unless the Court of Appeal of Nunavut directs that the new trial be held before the judge who tried the accused in the first instance;

    • (c) if the Court of Appeal of Nunavut orders that the new trial shall be held before a court composed of a judge and jury, the new trial shall be commenced by an indictment in writing setting forth the offence in respect of which the new trial was ordered; and

    • (d) despite paragraph (a), if the conviction against which the accused appealed was for an indictable offence mentioned in section 553, the new trial shall be held before a judge acting under Part XIX, other than the judge who tried the accused in the first instance, unless the Court of Appeal of Nunavut directs that the new trial be held before the judge who tried the accused in the first instance.

  • Marginal note:Election if new trial a jury trial

    (5.1) Subject to subsection (5.2), if a new trial ordered by the court of appeal is to be held before a court composed of a judge and jury,

    • (a) the accused may, with the consent of the prosecutor, elect to have the trial heard before a judge without a jury or a provincial court judge;

    • (b) the election shall be deemed to be a re-election within the meaning of subsection 561(5); and

    • (c) subsection 561(5) applies, with such modifications as the circumstances require, to the election.

  • Marginal note:Election if new trial a jury trial — Nunavut

    (5.2) If a new trial ordered by the Court of Appeal of Nunavut is to be held before a court composed of a judge and jury, the accused may, with the consent of the prosecutor, elect to have the trial heard before a judge without a jury. The election shall be deemed to be a re-election within the meaning of subsection 561.1(1), and subsection 561.1(6) applies, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to the election.

  • Marginal note:Where appeal allowed against verdict of unfit to stand trial

    (6) Where a court of appeal allows an appeal against a verdict that the accused is unfit to stand trial, it shall, subject to subsection (7), order a new trial.

  • Marginal note:Appeal court may set aside verdict of unfit to stand trial

    (7) Where the verdict that the accused is unfit to stand trial was returned after the close of the case for the prosecution, the court of appeal may, notwithstanding that the verdict is proper, if it is of the opinion that the accused should have been acquitted at the close of the case for the prosecution, allow the appeal, set aside the verdict and direct a judgment or verdict of acquittal to be entered.

  • Marginal note:Additional powers

    (8) Where a court of appeal exercises any of the powers conferred by subsection (2), (4), (6) or (7), it may make any order, in addition, that justice requires.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 686
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 145, 203
  • 1991, c. 43, s. 9
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 98
  • 1999, c. 3, s. 52, c. 5, s. 26
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 54(F)
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 282(E)

Marginal note:Powers of court on appeal against sentence

  •  (1) Where an appeal is taken against sentence, the court of appeal shall, unless the sentence is one fixed by law, consider the fitness of the sentence appealed against, and may on such evidence, if any, as it thinks fit to require or to receive,

    • (a) vary the sentence within the limits prescribed by law for the offence of which the accused was convicted; or

    • (b) dismiss the appeal.

  • Marginal note:Effect of judgment

    (2) A judgment of a court of appeal that varies the sentence of an accused who was convicted has the same force and effect as if it were a sentence passed by the trial court.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 614

Marginal note:Right of appellant to attend

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), an appellant who is in custody is entitled, if he desires, to be present at the hearing of the appeal.

  • Marginal note:Appellant represented by counsel

    (2) An appellant who is in custody and who is represented by counsel is not entitled to be present

    • (a) at the hearing of the appeal, where the appeal is on a ground involving a question of law alone,

    • (b) on an application for leave to appeal, or

    • (c) on any proceedings that are preliminary or incidental to an appeal,

    unless rules of court provide that he is entitled to be present or the court of appeal or a judge thereof gives him leave to be present.

  • Marginal note:Manner of appearance

    (2.1) In the case of an appellant who is in custody and who is entitled to be present at any proceedings on an appeal, the court may order that, instead of the appellant personally appearing,

    • (a) at an application for leave to appeal or at any proceedings that are preliminary or incidental to an appeal, the appellant appear by audioconference or videoconference, if the technological means is satisfactory to the court; and

    • (b) at the hearing of the appeal, if the appellant has access to legal advice, they appear by closed-circuit television or videoconference.

  • Marginal note:Argument may be oral or in writing

    (3) An appellant may present his case on appeal and his argument in writing instead of orally, and the court of appeal shall consider any case of argument so presented.

  • Marginal note:Sentence in absence of appellant

    (4) A court of appeal may exercise its power to impose sentence notwithstanding that the appellant is not present.

Marginal note:Restitution or forfeiture of property

  •  (1) If the trial court makes an order for compensation or for the restitution of property under section 738 or 739 or an order of forfeiture of property under subsection 164.2(1) or 462.37(1) or (2.01), the operation of the order is suspended

    • (a) until the expiration of the period prescribed by rules of court for the giving of notice of appeal or of notice of application for leave to appeal, unless the accused waives an appeal; and

    • (b) until the appeal or application for leave to appeal has been determined, where an appeal is taken or application for leave to appeal is made.

  • Marginal note:Annulling or varying order

    (2) The court of appeal may by order annul or vary an order made by the trial court with respect to compensation or the restitution of property within the limits prescribed by the provision under which the order was made by the trial court, whether or not the conviction is quashed.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 689
  • R.S., 1985, c. 42 (4th Supp.), s. 5
  • 1995, c. 22, s. 10
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 69
  • 2005, c. 44, s. 12

 [Repealed, 2002, c. 13, s. 70]

Appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada

Marginal note:Appeal from conviction

  •  (1) A person who is convicted of an indictable offence and whose conviction is affirmed by the court of appeal may appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

    • (a) on any question of law on which a judge of the court of appeal dissents; or

    • (b) on any question of law, if leave to appeal is granted by the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Appeal where acquittal set aside

    (2) A person who is acquitted of an indictable offence other than by reason of a verdict of not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder and whose acquittal is set aside by the court of appeal may appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

    • (a) on any question of law on which a judge of the court of appeal dissents;

    • (b) on any question of law, if the Court of Appeal enters a verdict of guilty against the person; or

    • (c) on any question of law, if leave to appeal is granted by the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 691
  • R.S., 1985, c. 34 (3rd Supp.), s. 10
  • 1991, c. 43, s. 9
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 99

Marginal note:Appeal against affirmation of verdict of not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder

  •  (1) A person who has been found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder and

    • (a) whose verdict is affirmed on that ground by the court of appeal, or

    • (b) against whom a verdict of guilty is entered by the court of appeal under subparagraph 686(4)(b)(ii),

    may appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Appeal against affirmation of verdict of unfit to stand trial

    (2) A person who is found unfit to stand trial and against whom that verdict is affirmed by the court of appeal may appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Grounds of appeal

    (3) An appeal under subsection (1) or (2) may be

    • (a) on any question of law on which a judge of the court of appeal dissents; or

    • (b) on any question of law, if leave to appeal is granted by the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 692
  • R.S., 1985, c. 34 (3rd Supp.), s. 11
  • 1991, c. 43, s. 9
 
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