Alberta's highest court
The Court of Appeal is the highest court in Alberta. It can be asked, through an appeal, to review decisions made in a lower court or an administrative tribunal like the:
- Court of Queen’s Bench
- Criminal Injuries Review Board
Permission to appeal
You don’t have an automatic right to appeal for all matters. You should speak with a lawyer to determine if you require permission to appeal. To obtain permission, you must:
- file an application
- pay a fee
Factual or legal errors
When making an appeal, you must show that the previous decision-maker made a factual or legal error that affected the outcome of your case. An appeal is:
- not a new trial
- not a way to re-hear your case
Kinds of appeals
See these flowcharts – on the court’s Filing, Fees and Forms page – for more information about the appeals process:
- Civil Appeal Flowchart
- Criminal Appeal Flowchart
Orders and judgments
An appeal doesn’t stop enforcement of an order or judgment and isn’t a way to avoid complying with a court decision. To stay an order or judgment, you must do both of these things:
- file an application for stay of enforcement
- pay an application fee
If circumstances have changed since the order or judgment was made, you should apply to the court where the original hearing took place to vary the order or judgment instead of appealing it.
There are 2 main parties in an appeal:
- Appellant - the person who makes the appeal
- Respondent - the person who responds to the appeal
If you’ve decided to represent yourself in court, read and become familiar with the:
- Alberta Rules of Court (6.2 MB)
- Part 14 - for civil appeals
- Part 16 - for criminal appeals
- Consolidated Practice Directions – see on the court’s Rules of Court and Consolidated Practice Directions page.
- legislation that may be applicable to you
There are time limits for filing an appeal:
- civil notice of appeal: 1 month from the day that the judge stated who won the case
- criminal notice of appeal: 1 month from the date of sentencing
There are some exceptions to these time limits. It is your responsibility to know what your time limit is. Talk to a lawyer to confirm your time limit.
If you’ve missed your time to appeal, talk to a lawyer to determine if the time limit can be extended.
The filing fee for a civil notice of appeal is $600.
There’s no filing fee for a criminal notice of appeal.
You must order and pay for transcripts and then prepare an appeal record. The cost of doing this can be hundreds of dollars and sometimes more.
How to make your appeal
There are 2 ways to make an appeal:
- online with the Court of Appeal Management System (CAMS) or
- file paper documents in the Court of Appeal at:
Electronic filing system
Registered users can use CAMS to:
- initiate an appeal
- file materials
- pay applicable fees
- manage their cases and documents
Visit the court’s electronic filing page.
Documents filed electronically must comply with the requirements set out in the Practice Direction on Electronic Filing PDF, 78 KB).
Step 1. Fill out the forms
Civil Notice of Appeal (PDF, 160 KB)
If you don’t have a lawyer on a criminal matter
Fill out the Criminal Notice of Appeal: Form CRA-A – on the court’s Filing, Fees and Forms page.
If you have a lawyer on a criminal matter
Your lawyer must fill out the Criminal Notice of Appeal: Form CRA-B – on the court’s Filing, Fees and Forms page.
Step 2. File and serve the notice of appeal
File and serve the notice of appeal within your time limit.
Step 3. Get, file and serve your appeal record
Go to Order an appeal record and learn how to:
- Get the appeal record. You can:
- Make your own appeal record.
- Have Transcript Management Services (TMS) make your appeal record.
- File and serve the appeal.
Step 4. Prepare, file and serve your written argument
Prepare, file and serve a written argument, or factum, within the required deadline.
Step 5. Attend court
Attend the Unscheduled Civil Appeals List or the Criminal Speak to List if the appeal either:
- isn’t progressing in accordance with the Rules of Court
- has procedural issues that need to be addressed in a timely manner
These ‘lists’ are short court appearances where an appeal’s progress is discussed before a case management officer. The appellant and respondent must both attend.
Step 6. Attend the appeal hearing
Once the court gives its decision – and unless otherwise ordered – the successful party is responsible for preparing the judgment that sets out that decision.