The Québec Court of Appeal


The Court of Appeal of Québec is the province's highest court. It deals with all sorts of cases: civil, criminal, family, administrative, etc.

It is a special court in many ways. For instance, several judges listen to and decide the outcome of an appeal. In general, three judges hear an appeal but for very important cases, there can be more judges.

The Court of Appeal holds hearings in Montreal and Quebec City only.

As its name indicates, the Court of Appeal is not the first court to hear a case. A person will ask the Court of Appeal to review the decision of a lower court when he thinks the lower court made a mistake. But first, he must make sure that the law allows him to appeal the lower court's decision. For example, the law says that a decision regarding a “small claim” is final and without appeal.

Exceptionally, the Quebec government can directly ask the Court of Appeal a question, without having to go through another court first. This process, called a “referral," is done by the government to avoid making a mistake.

It is extremely rare for the Court of Appeal to listen to witnesses or examine new evidence. It can familiarize itself with everything that the first judge heard or saw, for example, by reading the word for word testimony of the witnesses. Usually, the Court of Appeal just hears each side’s arguments.

Finally, the only option left to a person who disagrees with the Court of Appeal’s decision is an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.