2.2 Filing a Notice of Appeal

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

To let the court know you want to appeal, you must first file a form called Notice of Appeal or Application for Leave to Appeal. If you are representing yourself, use Form 2

The same form is used for a conviction appeal. If you’re appealing both your conviction and sentence, you need to fill out only one form.

If you are only appealing your sentence, you must obtain leave (permission) to appeal. You have to show that your appeal is not frivolous and has a reasonable chance of success.

You must file the original plus five photocopies.

When to file

You must file your Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the date that your sentence was imposed.

If you want to file a Notice of Appeal after the 30-day limit, you must ask the court to extend the time allowed for you to file your notice.

If you wish to apply for release on bail until your sentence appeal, see How to apply for release on bail pending appeal.


Note: When you refer to the judge on court forms:

  • A Provincial Court judge is “The Honourable Judge NAME”.
  • A Supreme Court is “The Honourable Justice NAME”.

Write your grounds of appeal

On the Notice of Appeal form, write your grounds of appeal in the space provided. State your specific issues about the sentence that relate to any or all of the three categories of excessive sentence, illegal sentence, or error in principle.

If you have difficulty wording your grounds of appeal, use both of the following grounds, which are broad enough to cover any sentence appeal:

  • “The sentence is unduly harsh and excessive given my background and the circumstances of the offence.”
  • “Such further grounds as I may advise and this Honourable Court may permit.”

Where to file your Notice of Appeal

You will need to file the completed original forms along with the required number of photocopies at the registry.

When you file your documents, staff at the registry will stamp each copy. They’ll keep the original plus some of the copies and return the rest of them to you.

  • One copy is for you to keep to use at your appeal.
  • The other copy is for you to give to (“serve on”) Crown counsel. Sometimes the registry will do this for you. Be sure to ask if it will.

For more information about how to file your documents or how to serve documents on the Crown, call or write to the appropriate court registry. (Contact information is below.)

File your Notice of Appeal in the Court of Appeal registry in Victoria, Kamloops, or Vancouver, depending on where you were sentenced. If you were sentenced on Vancouver Island, file in the Victoria registry. If you were sentenced in the interior of British Columbia, file in the Kamloops registry. If you were sentenced anywhere else in the province, file in the Vancouver registry.

Court of Appeal Registry
850 Burdett Avenue
Victoria, BC V8W 9J2
Telephone: 250-356-1478
Fax: 250-356-6279

Court of Appeal Registry
223 – 455 Columbia Street
Kamloops, BC V2C 6K4
Telephone: 250-828-4344
Fax: 250-828-4332

Court of Appeal Registry
#400 - 800 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2C5
Telephone: 604-660-2468
Fax: 604-660-1951

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