Procedure for Initiating Appeals to the Court of Appeal of Alberta

Procedure for Initiating Appeals to the Court of Appeal of Alberta

DATE: May 20, 2008

PURPOSE: The purpose of this guideline is to provide the procedures for initiating an appeal or application by the Crown to the Court of Appeal of Alberta.

Underlying principles:

The procedure for undertaking an appeal will be guided by the following principles:

  1. The decision to appeal should be based on the best information available. The trial prosecutor and appellate counsel should work together to compile that information.
  2. Time is of the essence in recommending a Crown appeal. The notice of appeal must be filed and served within 30 days and the Court of Appeal usually denies applications by the Crown for an extension of time. (Note: the 30 days begins running from the date of the ruling sought to be appealed. Thus, for acquittals time starts when the acquittal ruling is made, not when proceedings on other charges are completed.)

Procedure:

An appeal or application by the Crown to the Court of Appeal in a criminal or quasi-criminal proceeding requires the authority of the Attorney General or counsel instructed by the Attorney General. The Director of the Appeals Branch is counsel instructed by the Attorney General for this purpose. No such appeal or application shall be initiated without that authority.

To initiate an appeal or application to the Court of Appeal:

  1. Immediately order Reasons for Judgment (or Reasons for Sentence or SCA Decision, etc.)
  2. Complete an Appeal Recommendation form. Appeal recommendation forms include :
    1. Sentence Appeal Recommendation Form
    2. Acquittal/Stay Appeal Recommendation Form
    3. Summary Conviction Appeal Recommendation Form
    4. All Other Appeal Recommendations Form
  3. Send completed appeal recommendation to the Director of the Appeals Branch. Appeal recommendations in respect of proceedings that took place in a judicial district north of the Judicial District of Red Deer should be sent to the Director of the Appeals Branch c/o the Appeals Branch office in Edmonton. Appeal recommendations in respect of proceedings that took place in the Judicial District of Red Deer or a judicial district south of the Judicial District of Red Deer should be sent to the Director of the Appeals Branch c/o the Appeals Branch office in Calgary. A copy of the appeal recommendation should be sent to the responsible Chief Crown Prosecutor or, in the case of recommendations from the Special Prosecutions Branch, the Director of Special Prosecutions. The Chief Crown Prosecutor or Director of Special Prosecutions may submit comment on the recommendation to the Director of the Appeals Branch, but is not required to do so.
  4. Don’t delay sending recommendation waiting for items such as Reasons for Judgment. The appeal recommendation should be submitted no later than 1 week after the decision proposed for an appeal is made.
  5. Upon receipt of the appeal recommendation the Director of the Appeals Branch will assign an appellate counsel to review the recommendation and work with the Crown prosecutor to ensure that the information required to properly determine whether to initiate the appeal or application is available.
  6. Appellate counsel will make a recommendation to the Director of the Appeals Branch as to whether an appeal or application should be initiated, consulting with other members of the Branch when it is considered desirable.
  7. If an appeal or application is deemed appropriate, the Director of the Appeals Branch will ensure that the statutory authority to initiate the appeal or application is issued in writing.

Carriage of all forms of appeals, applications, or motions to or before the Court of Appeal of Alberta, with the exception of bail review in the Court of Appeal prior to trial (s. 522(4)/680 Criminal Code), is the responsibility of the Appeals Branch. Crown prosecutors who are not members of the Appeals Branch may, with the consent of the Director of the Appeals Branch, have carriage of any appeal, application, or motion before the Court of Appeal of Alberta, but when doing so, are accountable to, and under the direction of, the Director of the Appeals Branch.