Court of Appeal

  • May 14, 2022

COVID-Related Procedures at the Court of Appeal for Ontario: Infographic and Flyer - May 13

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has created an infographic and a flyer summarizing the current COVID-related procedures

View the infographic

ONCA to Begin Hearing Appeals and Panel Motions In Person on April 4th, 2022

The Court of Appeal will begin hearing appeals and panel motions in person. Parties will have the option of attending in-person appeals and panel motions remotely using a Zoom link provided. Inmate appeals will also be returning to an in-person format, but until further notice, inmates will continue to appear by video conference.  Single motions, purge court, and status court will continue to be heard remotely. For more information, please visit here: https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/

OntCA: Expected Return to In-Person Appeal Proceedings on April 4 - March 11, 2022

OntCA – Gowning Not Required – January 10, 2022

In response to the most recent developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective December 20, 2021 and until further notice: (i) unless otherwise directed, all appeal hearings at the Court of Appeal for Ontario will proceed remotely using the Zoom platform; (ii) status court and purge court are suspended; and (iii) public counter services will not be available. All members of the public should avoid non-essential visits to the courthouse. Parties must file all documents electronically in accordance with the Consolidated Practice Direction Regarding Proceedings in the Court of Appeal During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

OntCa – Senior Counsel Welcomed to Share Oral Submissions with Junior Counsel - November 29, 2021

The Court of Appeal has posted a statement on its website from the Chief Justice of Ontario and the Associate Chief Justice of Ontario welcoming senior counsel to share opportunities for oral submissions with junior counsel. The statement can be found here: https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/how-to-proceed-court/statement-regarding-submissions-from-counsel/.

OntCA – New Counsel Slips Announced -  November 29, 2021

Ont CA – New Practice Direction Regarding Accessing Court Documents and Exhibits November 24, 2021

Ont CA - Revisions to Surrender Condition Wording in Release Orders Pending Appeal November 11, 2021

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has amended its Consolidated COVID-19 Practice Direction in order to revise the standard wording for the surrender condition in release orders pending appeal. For more information, see paras. 130-136 of the Consolidated COVID-19 Practice Direction.

ONCA – New Criminal Appeal Rules to be Released November 1, 2021

New Criminal Appeal Rules for all criminal matters at the Court of Appeal for Ontario will come into force on November 1, 2021. On that day, the current Criminal Appeal Rules, SI/93-169, 1993 Canada Gazette, Part II, will be revoked.

In general, the new Rules will apply to all criminal matters at the Court of Appeal for Ontario whether commenced before or after November 1, 2021.

The new Criminal Appeal Rules may be reviewed at https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/files/rules-forms/criminal-rules-en.pdf.

For further information, please visit the Court of Appeal website.

ONCA – Court of Appeal for Ontario to Begin Hearing Appeals in Person on November 8

Beginning November 8, 2021, the Court of Appeal for Ontario will begin hearing appeals in person.

The Court will begin hearing criminal appeals and panel motions in person on November 8 and will begin hearing civil appeals and panel motions in person on November 15.

Inmate appeals, single-judge motions, purge court, and status court will continue to be heard remotely until further notice.

Parties will have the option of attending in-person appeals and panel motions remotely using a Zoom link, which will be provided to them.

In-person attendance will be limited to counsel and self-represented litigants. Observers, including clients and the public, will be able to observe remotely by Zoom.

For health and safety reasons, the Court had been hearing appeals remotely by Zoom throughout most of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on public health advice the Court will resume hearing appeals in-person with appropriate health and safety measures in place. The Court continues to receive regular public health advice and will, if advisable, return to hearing appeals remotely.

For more information, please review the Court’s Protocol for In-Person Hearings During the COVID-10 Pandemic at this link and the Court’s Consolidated Practice Direction Regarding Proceedings During the COVID-19 Pandemic at this link.

Court of Appeal for Ontario - Tentative Model for Return to In-Person Proceedings

The OBA has received the following update from the Ontario Court of Appeal on a tentative plan for return to in-person proceedings. The Court advises that if it proceeds with the plan, it will issue a public announcement at a later date and release an amended practice direction, counsel slip, and health and safety protocol for in-person proceedings. View Tentative Model for Return to In-Person Proceedings

ONCA:  Revisions Released to the Consolidated COVID-19 Practice Direction, September 27, 2021

The Court of Appeal has amended its Consolidated COVID-19 Practice Direction to remove the information about scheduling urgent matters in July and August 2021 and to specify that only lawyers licensed by the LSO to practice in Ontario may act and sign as a witness for a surety’s signature and for an out-of-custody appellant’s signature on Appendix A of the ‘all-in-one’ release order.  For further information, please visit the Court of Appeal for Ontario webpage.

ONCA: Opening of the CourtsSeptember 14, 2021

The Opening of the Courts of Ontario was held on Monday, September 14.  For more information, including remarks, please visit the Court of Appeal for Ontario webpage.

ONCA: Court to be Closed on September 30, 2021September 9, 2021

The Ontario Courts have announced that they will be closed, except for certain matters that must be heard, on Thursday, September 30, in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  For further information, please visit Ontario Courts. (September 9, 2021)

ONCA: Amendments to Practice Direction for Civil Appeals July 7, 2021

The Court of Appeal released today housekeeping amendments to the Practice Direction Concerning Civil Appeals at the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

ONCA: Revisions to Consolidated COVID-19 Practice Direction and Counsel Slip and Hearing Information Form July 6, 2021

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has amended its Consolidated COVID-19 Practice Direction and revised its Counsel Slip and Hearing Information Form. The amendments to the Consolidated COVID-19 Practice Direction can be found at Appendix B of the Practice Direction. The Counsel Slip and Hearing Information Form has been revised to allow those that appear before the Court to provide their prefix, pronouns and/or name pronunciation (through phonetic spelling or a link to an audio recording).

Ontario Court of Appeal amendments to the existing Guidelines for Filing Electronic Documents (July 6, 2021)

Effective as of July 6, 2021, the Ontario Court of Appeal has announced that the existing Guidelines for Filing Electronic Documents at the Court are suspended and incorporated into a revised Practice Direction with specific amendments to address, among other things, electronic filing of documents, file names, and optical character recognition on documents.  

To see the full list of amendments please visit the Court of Appeal website.

MAG: New Direction to Court Staff Regarding Inclusive Language and Procedures in Court - June 2

In collaboration with the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Superior Court of Justice, and the Ontario Court of Justice, the Ministry of the Attorney General Court Services Division recently issued direction to all court staff informing them about the importance of inviting court participants to share pronouns and prefixes. Updates are also being made to incorporate more accessible and inclusive language in court proceedings. For details see the Notice-Updates to Inclusive Language (English) and Notice-Updates to Inclusive Language (French)

Ontario Court of Appeal Revocation of Practice Directions

On March 15th, the Court of Appeal for Ontario issued a new Consolidated Practice Direction regarding ONCA proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this, the Court has now revoked a number of practice directions which covered issues that are now governed by the new Consolidated Practice Direction.

Ont. CA Update – New Consolidated Practice Direction – March 15, 2021

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has issued a new consolidated Practice Direction regarding ONCA proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective March 29, 2021, this Practice Direction provides guidance on the following matters:

  • Service and filing of documents (including electronic documents)
  • Scheduling and conduct of hearings
  • Public and media access to zoom hearings
  • Bail matters in the ONCA
  • Prior practice directions from the ONCA that have been updated, consolidated, or revoked by this new Practice Direction (effective March 29, 2021).

For more information, please consult the Practice Direction and the amended Counsel Slip and Hearing Information Form.

Ont. CA Update re Appeals 

The ONCA has announced that in July and August, 2021, the Court will only hear appeals on grounds of urgency. For more information, please see the Court’s website.

Ont. CA New Practice Direction re: Remote Observation of Oral Hearings  

Chief Justice George R. Strathy has issued a new Practice Direction (effective January 25, 2021) regarding the remote observation of oral hearings at the ONCA. Members of the public and the media may observe remote hearings at the ONCA via zoom or by teleconference. 

Unless the hearing is in camera, parties to a hearing and their counsel may share the zoom link, webinar/meeting ID, and telephone numbers with persons wishing to observe the hearing. However, parties are reminded that pursuant to s. 136 of the Courts of Justice Act, RSO 1990 c C 43, it is an offence to record any part of a hearing. Accordingly, when parties to a hearing or their counsel share information about remote hearings with observers, it is the responsibility of the parties/counsel to share this warning:

The Court has also revised its Counsel Slip and Hearing Information Form, which must be submitted to the Court (and copying all other parties). For more information, please see the Practice Direction

Ont. CA Revised Practice Direction Regarding Electronic Matters

The Ont. CA has revised its October 26th Practice Direction regarding the electronic conduct of matters (both appeals and motions). The Practice Direction stipulates that before an oral hearing takes place, parties are encouraged to file an electronic “Compendium for Argument” that contains:

  • Extracts of the documents/cases which counsel intend to refer to during argument
  • Any slide presentations which counsel intend to refer to during argument

The Compendium must be filed electronically at least two days before the scheduled hearing by sending an email to COA.E-file@ontario.ca. Parties that do not file a Compendium two days in advance may seek leave at the hearing to file one. If leave is granted, the party may file the Compendium by sending an email to the address provided by the courtroom registrar. 

Ont CA Notice re In-Person and Remote Appeals

The Ont CA has issued a new Notice regarding the scheduling of in-person and remote appeals. Effective immediately, the Ont CA will no longer be conducting in-person appeals. Until further notice, all appeals will be conducted remotely. Due to the exigent circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, it may be necessary to schedule some appeal hearings outside of the four to six month timelines set out in the Ont CA’s Practice Directions. For more information, please see the Notice.


Ont CA Update re: Electronic Conduct of Matters

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has revised its October 23rd Practice Direction regarding the electronic conduct of matters during the COVID-19 pandemic. The revisions are in paragraphs 20 and 23 of the Practice Direction, and deal with hyperlink requirements for factums and books of authorities, respectively. For more information, please see here.


Ont CA Public Counter Service Closed Until Further Notice

The Ont CA issued a Notice stating that public counter services will be closed until further notice. All filings can be submitted via mail or by email to coa.e-file@ontario.ca. Alternatively, filings may be dropped off inside the public lobby of the Intake Office. For more information about Ont CA filings at this time, please see the Ont CA’s October 26th Practice Direction.


Ont CA Practice Direction for Virtual Matters

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has issued a new Practice Direction regarding the electronic conduct of matters during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Practice Direction provides guidance for the electronic service and filing of documents, as well as the formatting requirements for electronic documents. For more information, please see the Ont CA Practice Direction.


Ont CA Protocol For In-Person Hearings

The Ont CA has issued a new Protocol for In-Person Hearings During the COVID-19 Pandemic. During the pandemic, in-person hearings will be held at the discretion of the Court. The Court will only consider holding an in-person hearing if: (1) all parties and counsel have consented to attend in-person; and (2) the hearing has been scheduled for one full day or longer. For more information about the procedures for matters approved for in-person hearings before the Ont CA, please see the new Protocol.


Ont CA To Schedule Some In-Person Hearings Starting in October

The Chief Justice of Ontario has announced that the Court of Appeal for Ontario will begin scheduling some in-person appeal hearings, starting during the week of October 19, 2020. The resumption of in-person hearings will be gradual, and most appeals will continue to proceed remotely via videoconference, teleconference, or in writing. For more information, please see here, or contact the Senior Legal Officer for the Court of Appeal at COA.SeniorLegalOfficer@ontario.ca.


July 13: The Court of Appeal has issued an Amended Practice Direction regarding the electronic conduct of matters, which replaced the April 6th Practice Direction Regarding the Electronic Conduct of Matters During the COVID-19 Emergency. The amended direction outlines that in-person hearings will be conducted during the pandemic. All matters will proceed by remote appearance, or in writing. The amended direction also outlines the requirements for electronic filing and transmission of documents, electronic service, and remote hearings.


July 6: The Court of Appeal published a Notice Regarding Videoconference Appearance Technology (Zoom). Since July 6th, the Court has been using Zoom for remote hearings. This Notice contains an overview of the process for Zoom appearances at the Court; best practices for participating in Zoom appearances at the Court; and information for members of the public and the media about how to request access to observe a Zoom hearing at the Court.


June 25: An Amended Practice Direction Concerning Manner of Service, Inmate Appeal Books, and Orders for Release of Electronic Exhibits in Criminal Matters provides instructions for how parties can serve a Notice of Appeal or a notice of abandonment. Additionally, while this Practice Direction is in force, the Crown is only required to include those documents that may be relevant to an argument raised on appeal in appeal books for inmate appeals. This Practice Direction also provides guidance with relation to motions for the release of original electronic exhibits entered at trial.

The Practice Direction Concerning the Reinstatement of Times Prescribed in Criminal Proceedings provides that the extension of times prescribed in previous practice directions will terminate on July 15th. As of July 16th, parties who believe they require an extension of time for reasons related to the pandemic can apply to the Court for an extension. 

The Practice Direction Concerning the Reinstatement of Times Prescribed in Civil Proceedings states that starting July 16th, the times prescribed to take any step in any civil proceeding in the Court of Appeal will be reinstated. Requests for an extension of time for reasons related to the pandemic should be sent to the Senior Legal Officer following the instructions provided in the Practice Direction.

The Practice Direction Concerning the Reinstatement of Times Prescribed in Proceedings Arising Under the Provincial Offences Act provides that effective July 16th, the times prescribed to take any step in any POA proceeding will be reinstated. Requests for an extension of time for reasons related to the pandemic should be sent to the Senior Legal Officer following the instructions provided in the Practice Direction.


May 1: The Court of Appeal for Ontario previously announced plans to sit in Ottawa during the week of October 19, 2020 to hear appeals from cases originating in the East Region. Due to the current pandemic, the Court of Appeal has postponed the Ottawa sitting until 2021. For more information, see here.


April 20

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has issued a Practice Direction dated April 20 for all bail-related matters. This Practice Direction will apply until further notice and must be read in conjunction with:

  • The Criminal Appeal Rules, SI/93-169,
  • Practice Direction Concerning Criminal Appeals at the Court of Appeal for Ontario,
  • Practice Direction Concerning Applications for Bail Pending Appeal at the Court of Appeal for Ontario Given the Exceptional and Evolving Circumstances Concerning Covid-19; and
  • All applicable federal statutes.

For more information, please see the Practice Direction – April 20, available here.

New Direction for Bail Related Matters

The Court of Appeal has issued a practice direction for all bail related matters. The practice direction reminds counsel of the processes and applicable rules for making requests relating to bail for their clients. In addition, the Court has outlined additional requirements for counsel when proposing a release order with sureties, including drafting proposed conditions for release to file with the Court. For further information, see the Court of Appeal Practice Direction here.

Court of Appeal Update For Remote Appearance

The Court of Appeal has issued a practice direction outlining that all matters will proceed by remote appearance. For more information, see the Court of Appeal Practice Direction here.

OntCA: Expected Return to In-Person Appeal Proceedings on April 4

The Court of Appeal expects to return to in-person appeal proceedings on April 4. For the spring term, it plans to allow counsel to attend in-person or by Zoom, as it did last fall when it briefly returned to in-person proceedings. Single judge motions would continue to be conducted fully by Zoom.

Court of Appeal for Ontario - Tentative Model for Return to In-Person Proceedings

The OBA has received the following update from the Ontario Court of Appeal on a tentative plan for return to in-person proceedings. The Court advises that if it proceeds with the plan, it will issue a public announcement at a later date and release an amended practice direction, counsel slip, and health and safety protocol for in-person proceedings.