Najma Jamaldin, along with lawyers in her law chambers, offer legal services in criminal and regulatory defences and appeals.

What must I do to start an appeal?

Your appeal starts by filing a notice of appeal, a short document that outlines the issues under appeal. In the case of a criminal appeal, the court requires that you file the appeal within 30 days of the date of the imposition of sentence or order.

In some cases, an inmate may file a notice of appeal from jail which a lawyer can later convert to a solicitor’s appeal.

The appeal courts impose strict deadlines. Consultation with counsel will ensure timelessness.

What are the requirements of an appeal?

In addition to the notice of appeal, the appeal lawyer must also provide the court with the trial record, case transcripts and the full legal argument in the form of a factum. The time required to prepare the materials increases the importance of obtaining bail pending appeal or a stay of an order.

Where will the appeal hearing take place?

Which court will hear your appeal will depend on the manner of your prosecution. Generally, criminal matters fall into two categories, summary conviction matters or the more serious indictable matters.

If your prosecution proceeded by summary conviction, a single judge of the Superior Court of Justice will hear your appeal. If your prosecution proceeded by indictment, a panel of judges of the Court of Appeal will hear your appeal.

The Divisional Court will hear some appeals of non-criminal matters and appeals from provincial administrative tribunals.

The Federal Court of Appeal hears appeals from federal legislation and the Federal and Tax Court of Canada. The Federal Court of Appeal also hears judicial review applications from federal boards and tribunals.

What are the differences between a trial and an appeal?

Several differences exist between a trial and an appeal. For example, a trial requires live evidence provided by witnesses. In contrast, the appeal relies on the evidence recorded at the trial.

The focus of the trial and the appeal also differ. While the trial concentrates on the facts in the case, the appeal court considers legal errors. The appeal court’s specialized focus on the legal issues prevents the appeal from becoming a retrial of the case.