About the British Columbia Court of Appeal
There are three levels of court in British Columbia. The Court of Appeal is the highest court in the province. It hears appeals from the Supreme Court, from the Provincial Court on some criminal matters, and reviews and appeals from some administrative boards and tribunals.
The Chief Justice of British Columbia heads the Court of Appeal. There are currently between 20 and 24 justices on the Court, depending on the timing of retirements and new appointments. The court sits as a division of three judges most of the time. For some important cases, the court will sit as a division of five judges. Some matters are heard in chambers, before a single justice. A decision of a justice in chambers may be reviewed by a division of three justices sitting as a court.
The Court of Appeal sits regularly in Vancouver, and as needed in Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, and Prince George. Vancouver is the central registry for the Court of Appeal.
The judges of the British Columbia Court of Appeal are also judges of the Yukon Court of Appeal. The Yukon Court of Appeal sits for one week, twice a year in Whitehorse. Yukon appeals are sometimes heard in other BC court locations, such as Vancouver.
Representing Yourself in the Court of Appeal
If you are representing yourself in the Court of Appeal, the guidebooks and resources on this website can help you learn about the Court and its specific procedures.
- Civil & Family Guidebooks
- Criminal Guidebooks
- Process Overview Charts (Appellant | Respondent)
- Legal Help
Procedure in Civil/Family matters
Procedure in civil matters is governed by the Court of Appeal Act, the Court of Appeal Rules, case law, practice directives issued by the Chief Justice, and completion instructions and filing directives issued by the Registrar.
- Court of Appeal Act
- Court of Appeal Rules
- Civil Practice Directives
- Forms and Completion Instructions
- Registrar’s Filing Directive
Procedure in Criminal matters
Procedure in criminal matters is governed by the Criminal Code, the Court of Appeal Criminal Appeal Rules, case law, practice directives issued by the Chief Justice, and filing directives issued by the Registrar. Other statutes and rules may govern in specific situations, such as extradition and appeals and reviews from administrative bodies.
- Court of Appeal Act
- Criminal Code
- Court of Appeal Criminal Appeal Rules
- Criminal Practice Directives
- Criminal Rules Forms
History of the British Columbia Court of Appeal
For the Court's 100th Anniversary, a documentary history of the Court was prepared titled "Though the Heavens Fall: 100 Years of the B.C. Court of Appeal".