4.1 Address the court

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

You are the appellant, the person making the appeal. Usually you are the first to address the court and provide it with basic information. If you’re representing yourself, however, the court will often ask Crown counsel to provide an outline of the appeal. In the Court of Appeal, three judges are present at your hearing.

At the beginning of the hearing, you’re asked to give the reasons why you think the appeal should be allowed. State the points clearly and politely. If the judge(s) ask questions about the facts, take your time answering and try to be as persuasive as you can. Getting angry will only lower your chances of success.

At this time do the following:

  • State the grounds of appeal that you’re using to make your arguments.
  • Point out briefly the parts of the transcripts that support your arguments.
  • Refer to any reported court decisions that support your position.

After your argument, the Crown lawyer will make his or her arguments. You then have the right to briefly reply to any arguments the Crown lawyer raises. The court will then decide whether to allow or dismiss the appeal. The Court may give its decision at the end of the hearing or may reserve judgment and give its decision at a later time.

Using your research

If you did research to find out the length of sentences in other cases to argue that your sentence is excessive, present this information when you are addressing the court.

Learn More

To learn more about finding case law and other legal authorities to support your argument see Canlii Primer by the National Self-Represented Litigants Project.

Bring 5 photocopies of each of the cases you are using: one for each of the three judges, one for the Crown, and one for you.

You can file these photocopies before the hearing if you want, or you can just bring them with you to the hearing.

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