Role and Operation of the Court of Appeal of Alberta

The Court of Appeal hears criminal appeals from the Provincial Court and both criminal and civil appeals from the Court of Queen’s Bench. It also hears appeals from administrative and board tribunals. In addition, the Court of Appeal may be asked to provide an opinion on questions referred to it by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under the Judicature Act. The Court of Appeal does not re-try cases. Rather, the Court of Appeal reviews the record to determine whether errors of law or fact were made in a decision.

Specifically:

  • Appeals from Queen’s Bench Civil go to the Court of Appeal.
  • Appeals from Queen’s Bench (Family Law Act) go to the Court of Appeal.
  • Appeals from Provincial Court Criminal and Queen’s Bench Criminal (Indictable Offences) go to the Court of Appeal.
  • Appeals from Provincial Court Criminal (Indictable Offences combined with Summary Conviction Offences) go to the Court of Appeal.
  • Appeals from administrative boards or tribunals may go directly to the Court of Appeal in accordance with applicable legislation.

Not all matters are appealed to the Court of Appeal. For example:

  • Appeals from Provincial Court Civil (i.e., small claims court) go to Queen’s Bench Civil. The Queen’s Bench decision is final, and there is no further right of appeal to the Court of Appeal.
  • Appeals from Provincial Court (Family Law Act) go to Queen’s Bench Civil. Any further appeal to the Court of Appeal requires permission to appeal.
  • Appeals from Provincial Court (Residential Tenancies Act) go to Queen’s Bench Civil.
  • Appeals from Provincial Court Traffic go to Queen’s Bench Criminal. Any further appeal to the Court of Appeal requires permission (leave) to appeal.
  • Appeals from Provincial Court Criminal (Summary Conviction Offences) go to Queen’s Bench Criminal. Any further appeal to the Court of Appeal requires permission (leave) to appeal.
  • Appeals from a Master’s Order go to Queen’s Bench Chambers.
  • Appeals from administrative boards or tribunals may go to Queen’s Bench Civil as a judicial review in accordance with applicable legislation.

Justices from the Court of Appeal of Alberta are also appointed to the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories and the Court of Appeal for Nunavut.