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Supreme Court Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-26)

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Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2019-12-18. Previous Versions

Amendments

Marginal note:Necessary amendments

  •  (1) At any time during the pendency of an appeal before the Court, the Court may, on the application of any of the parties, or without any such application, make all such amendments as are necessary for the purpose of determining the appeal or the real question or controversy between the parties as disclosed by the pleadings, evidence or proceedings.

  • Marginal note:At whose instance

    (2) An amendment referred to in subsection (1) may be made, whether the necessity for it is or is not occasioned by the defect, error, act, default or neglect of the party applying to amend.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 50

Marginal note:Conditions

 Every amendment shall be made on such terms as to payment of costs, postponing the hearing or otherwise as to the Court seem just.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 51

Interest

Marginal note:Interest

 Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, a judgment of the Court bears interest at the rate and from the date applicable to the judgment in the same matter of the court of original jurisdiction or at the rate and from the date that would have been applicable to that judgment if it had included a monetary award.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 52
  • 1974-75-76, c. 18, s. 7

Certificate of Judgment

Marginal note:Judgment to be carried out by court below

 The judgment of the Court in appeal shall be certified by the Registrar to the proper officer of the court of original jurisdiction, who shall make all proper and necessary entries thereof, and all subsequent proceedings may be taken thereon as if the judgment had been given or pronounced in the last mentioned court.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 53

Judgment Final and Conclusive

Marginal note:Exclusive ultimate appellate jurisdiction

 The Court shall have and exercise exclusive ultimate appellate civil and criminal jurisdiction within and for Canada, and the judgment of the Court is, in all cases, final and conclusive.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 54

Special Jurisdiction

References by Governor in Council

Marginal note:Referring certain questions for opinion

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may refer to the Court for hearing and consideration important questions of law or fact concerning

    • (a) the interpretation of the Constitution Acts;

    • (b) the constitutionality or interpretation of any federal or provincial legislation;

    • (c) the appellate jurisdiction respecting educational matters, by the Constitution Act, 1867, or by any other Act or law vested in the Governor in Council; or

    • (d) the powers of the Parliament of Canada, or of the legislatures of the provinces, or of the respective governments thereof, whether or not the particular power in question has been or is proposed to be exercised.

  • Marginal note:Other questions

    (2) The Governor in Council may refer to the Court for hearing and consideration important questions of law or fact concerning any matter, whether or not in the opinion of the Court ejusdem generis with the enumerations contained in subsection (1), with reference to which the Governor in Council sees fit to submit any such question.

  • Marginal note:Questions deemed important

    (3) Any question concerning any of the matters mentioned in subsections (1) and (2), and referred to the Court by the Governor in Council, shall be conclusively deemed to be an important question.

  • Marginal note:Opinion of Court

    (4) Where a reference is made to the Court under subsection (1) or (2), it is the duty of the Court to hear and consider it and to answer each question so referred, and the Court shall certify to the Governor in Council, for his information, its opinion on each question, with the reasons for each answer, and the opinion shall be pronounced in like manner as in the case of a judgment on an appeal to the Court, and any judges who differ from the opinion of the majority shall in like manner certify their opinions and their reasons.

  • Marginal note:Notice to be given to provinces interested

    (5) Where the question relates to the constitutional validity of any Act passed by the legislature of any province, or of any provision in any such Act, or in case, for any reason, the government of any province has any special interest in any such question, the attorney general of the province shall be notified of the hearing in order that the attorney general may be heard if he thinks fit.

  • Marginal note:Notice to interested persons

    (6) The Court has power to direct that any person interested or, where there is a class of persons interested, any one or more persons as representatives of that class shall be notified of the hearing on any reference under this section, and those persons are entitled to be heard thereon.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of counsel by Court

    (7) The Court may, in its discretion, request any counsel to argue the case with respect to any interest that is affected and with respect to which counsel does not appear, and the reasonable expenses thereby occasioned may be paid by the Minister of Finance out of any moneys appropriated by Parliament for expenses of litigation.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 55

References by Senate or House of Commons

Marginal note:Report on private bill or petition

 The Court, or any two of the judges, shall examine and report on any private bill or petition for a private bill presented to the Senate or House of Commons and referred to the Court under any rules or orders made by the Senate or House of Commons.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 56

Certiorari

Marginal note:Writ of certiorari

 A writ of certiorari may, by order of the Court or a judge, issue out of the Court to bring up any papers or other proceedings had or taken before any court, judge or justice of the peace, and that are considered necessary with a view to any inquiry, appeal or other proceeding had or to be had before the Court.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 61

Procedure in Appeals

The Appeal

Marginal note:Proceedings in appeal

 Proceedings on an appeal shall, when not otherwise provided for by this Act, the Act providing for the appeal or the general rules and orders of the Court, be in conformity with any order made, on application by a party to the appeal, by the Chief Justice or, in the absence of the Chief Justice, by the senior puisne judge present.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 63
  • R.S., c. 44(1st Supp.), s. 5

Marginal note:Limited appeal

 The appellant may appeal from the whole or any part of any judgment or order and, if the appellant intends to limit the appeal, the notice of appeal shall so specify.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 64

Marginal note:Time periods for appeals

  •  (1) Subject to this Act or any other Act of Parliament, the following provisions with respect to time periods apply to proceedings in appeals:

    • (a) in the case of an appeal for which leave to appeal is required, the notice of application for leave to appeal and all materials necessary for the application shall be served on all other parties to the case and filed with the Registrar of the Court within sixty days after the date of the judgment appealed from; and

    • (b) in the case of an appeal for which leave to appeal is not required or in the case of an appeal for which leave to appeal is required and has been granted, a notice of appeal shall be served on all other parties to the case and filed with the Registrar of the Court within thirty days after the date of the judgment appealed from or the date of the judgment granting leave, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Computation of time periods

    (2) The month of July shall be excluded in the computation of a time period referred to in subsection (1).

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-26, s. 58
  • R.S., 1985, c. 34 (3rd Supp.), s. 5
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 139

Marginal note:Extension of time for appeal

  •  (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other Act of Parliament, the court proposed to be appealed from or any judge thereof or the Supreme Court or a judge thereof may under special circumstances, either before or after the expiration of a time period prescribed by section 58, extend that time period.

  • Marginal note:Terms

    (2) Where a court or judge grants an extension of time under subsection (1), that court or judge shall impose such terms as to security or otherwise as seem proper under the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Non-application to election cases

    (3) This section does not apply to appeals under section 532 of the Canada Elections Act.

  • Marginal note:Appeals in forma pauperis

    (4) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, a judge may, on an application for leave to appeal in forma pauperis, allow an appeal by giving the applicant leave to serve notice of appeal although the time prescribed by section 58 has expired.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-26, s. 59
  • R.S., 1985, c. 34 (3rd Supp.), s. 6
  • 2000, c. 9, s. 572

Marginal note:Procedure on appeal

  •  (1) An appeal shall be brought, within the time prescribed by section 58 or allowed under section 59, by

    • (a) serving a notice of appeal on all parties directly affected; and

    • (b) depositing with the Registrar security to the value of five hundred dollars that the appellant will effectually prosecute the appeal and pay such costs and damages as may be awarded against the appellant by the Court.

  • Marginal note:Approval of security

    (2) Where the security deposited is other than money, it shall be to the satisfaction of the court proposed to be appealed from or a judge thereof or to the satisfaction of the Supreme Court or a judge thereof.

  • Marginal note:Notice of security

    (3) Within seven days from the deposit of the security or, where subsection (2) applies, from the later of the deposit of the security and its approval as required by that subsection, the appellant shall notify all parties directly affected.

  • Marginal note:Service and filing of notice of appeal

    (4) The notice of appeal with evidence of service thereof shall be filed with the Registrar and a copy of the notice shall be filed with the clerk or other proper officer of the court appealed from within twenty-one days from the time prescribed by section 58 or allowed under section 59.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 66
  • R.S., c. 44(1st Supp.), s. 6

Marginal note:When error in law alleged

 Whenever error in law is alleged, the proceedings in the Court shall be in the form of an appeal.

  • R.S., c. 44(1st Supp.), s. 6

Marginal note:Appeal to be on a stated case

  •  (1) An appeal shall be on a case to be stated by the parties or, in the event of difference, to be settled by the court appealed from or a judge thereof.

  • Marginal note:Elements of case

    (2) The case shall set out the judgment objected to and so much of the pleadings, evidence, affidavits and documents as is necessary to raise the question for the decision of the Court.

  • Marginal note:Further evidence

    (3) The Court or a judge may, in the discretion of the Court or the judge, on special grounds and by special leave, receive further evidence on any question of fact, such evidence to be taken in the manner authorized by this Act, either by oral examination, by affidavit or by deposition, as the Court or the judge may direct.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-26, s. 62
  • 1990, c. 8, s. 39

Marginal note:Transmission of record

 The clerk or other proper officer of the court appealed from shall, on payment to that clerk or officer of the proper fees and expenses of transmission, transmit the case, as soon as may be after service on the clerk or officer of the notice of appeal, to the Registrar, and further proceedings shall thereupon be had according to the practice of the Supreme Court.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 68

Marginal note:Exceptions

 The provisions of this Act requiring the deposit of security for costs do not apply to appeals by or on behalf of the Crown or in election cases, in cases in the Federal Court of Appeal or the Federal Court, in criminal cases or in proceedings for or on a writ of habeas corpus.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-26, s. 64
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 176

Stay of Execution

Marginal note:Stay of execution

  •  (1) On filing and serving the notice of appeal and depositing security as required by section 60, execution shall be stayed in the original cause, except that

    • (a) where the judgment appealed from directs an assignment or delivery of documents or personal property, the execution of the judgment shall not be stayed until the things directed to be assigned or delivered have been brought into court, or placed in the custody of such officer or receiver as the court appoints, or until security has been given to the satisfaction of the court appealed from, or of a judge thereof, in such sum as that court or judge directs, that the appellant will obey the judgment of the Supreme Court;

    • (b) where the judgment appealed from directs the execution of a conveyance or any other instrument, the execution of the judgment shall not be stayed until the instrument has been executed and deposited with the proper officer of the court appealed from, to abide the judgment of the Supreme Court;

    • (c) where the judgment appealed from directs the sale or delivery of possession of real property or chattels real, the execution of the judgment shall not be stayed until security has been given to the satisfaction of the court appealed from, or a judge thereof, in such amount as that court or judge directs, that during the possession of the property by the appellant the appellant will not commit, or suffer to be committed, any waste on the property, and that if the judgment is affirmed, the appellant will pay the value of the use and occupation of the property from the time the appeal is brought until delivery of possession thereof, and also, if the judgment is for the sale of property and the payment of a deficiency arising on the sale, that the appellant will pay the deficiency; and

    • (d) where the judgment appealed from directs the payment of money, either as a debt or for damages or costs, the execution of the judgment shall not be stayed until the appellant has given security to the satisfaction of the court appealed from, or of a judge thereof, that, if the judgment or any part thereof is affirmed, the appellant will pay the amount thereby directed to be paid, or the part thereof with respect to which the judgment is affirmed, if it is affirmed only with respect to part, and all damages awarded against the appellant on the appeal.

  • Marginal note:Where court appealed from is a court of appeal

    (2) Where the court appealed from is a court of appeal, and the assignment or conveyance, document, instrument, property or thing referred to in subsection (1) has been deposited in the custody of the proper officer of the court in which the cause originated, the consent of the party desiring to appeal to the Supreme Court, that it shall so remain to abide the judgment of the Court, is binding on that party and shall be deemed a compliance with the requirements in that behalf of this section.

  • Marginal note:As to instrument

    (3) In any case in which execution may be stayed on the giving of security under this section, the security may be given by the same instrument whereby the security prescribed in section 60 is given.

  • Marginal note:Modification of stay of execution

    (4) The Court, the court appealed from or a judge of either of those courts may modify, vary or vacate a stay of execution imposed by subsection (1).

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-26, s. 65
  • 1994, c. 44, s. 100
 
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