3.2 Prepare your arguments and documents

Last Reviewed: June 2023 Reviewed by: Court of Appeal Staff

It’s a good idea to prepare and file a written outline of your argument. This is called a “factum”  or a “statement of argument.” The guidelines for preparing a factum are included in How to Appeal Your Conviction (beginning on page 29). At the hearing itself, present your arguments on the outline that you’ve provided in your factum. Your factum helps you to clearly explain your argument to the court.

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Note that witnesses aren’t called in appeal cases except in rare instances. Usually, the appeal hearing can deal only with the evidence already given at the trial, which is contained in the court transcript. You can’t refer to new evidence without permission (“leave”) of the court. See “When you can use new evidence”.

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The Court of Appeal has a Practice Directive with further information about how to prepare your factum.

File your factum (statement of argument) with the court registry within 30 days of filing your transcripts.

File the original plus five photocopies of the factum with the court registry. Within 30 days of receiving your factum, the responding party must file their factum and deliver a copy to you. If you then want to Reply to the respondent’s factum, you must file your reply factum within 7 days of receiving the respondent’s factum and promptly deliver to them a copy.

See Form 6 for more information about what to include in your factum, and Rule 10 for more information about the timing and format requirements.

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