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Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada (SOR/2002-156)

Regulations are current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2021-01-27. Previous Versions

Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

SOR/2002-156

SUPREME COURT ACT

Registration 2002-04-15

Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

Pursuant to subsection 97(1)Footnote a of the Supreme Court Act, the undersigned judges of the Supreme Court of Canada hereby make the annexed Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Ottawa, April 15, 2002

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin
The Honourable Mr. Justice John C. Major
The Honourable Mr. Justice Michel Bastarache
The Honourable Mr. Justice William Ian Corneil Binnie
The Honourable Mr. Justice Louis LeBel
Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada

PART 1Application and Interpretation

Application

 Except as otherwise provided by the Act or any other Act of Parliament, these Rules apply to all proceedings in the Court.

Interpretation

 The following definitions apply in these Rules.

Act

Act means the Supreme Court Act. (Loi)

affidavit

affidavit includes an affirmation and a statutory declaration. (affidavit)

agent

agent means a lawyer practising in the National Capital Region within the meaning of the National Capital Act. (correspondant)

application for leave to appeal

application for leave to appeal means an application for leave to appeal referred to in Rule 25 and section 40 of the Act. (demande d’autorisation d’appel)

attorney general

attorney general means the Attorney General of Canada, an attorney general of a province or a minister of Justice of a territory. (procureur général)

authorities

authorities includes legislative enactments, case law, articles and texts, treaties and excerpts from them. (sources)

commissioner for oaths

commissioner for oaths includes any person authorized under federal or provincial legislation or rules of practice, as the case may be, to conduct examinations. (commissaire à l’assermentation)

counsel

counsel means a member of the bar of a province. (procureur)

holiday

holiday means a holiday as defined in the Interpretation Act and includes Saturday. (jour férié)

last known address

last known address means the address that appears on the most recently filed document, whether it is a document filed in the Court or in the court appealed from, or, if applicable, on the notice of change that was most recently served and filed in accordance with Rule 17.1. (dernière adresse connue)

last known email address

last known email address means the email address that appears on the most recently filed document, whether it is a document filed in the Court or in the court appealed from, or, if applicable, on the notice of change that was most recently served and filed in accordance with Rule 17.1. (dernière adresse de courriel connue)

last known fax number

last known fax number means the fax number that appears on the most recently filed document, whether it is a document filed in the Court or in the court appealed from, or, if applicable, on the notice of change that was most recently served and filed in accordance with Rule 17.1. (dernier numéro de télécopieur connu)

party

party means a person named in the style of cause in accordance with Rule 22 including any person added or substituted as a party under Rule 18, but where referring to the court appealed from, it means a person who was a party in that court. (partie)

person

person includes a body politic or corporate, Her Majesty the Queen and an attorney general. (personne)

printing

printing includes reproduction by any means but does not include hand writing. (impression)

proceeding

proceeding means an appeal, application for leave to appeal, motion or reference before the Court, a judge or the Registrar. (procédure)

  • SOR/2011-74, s. 1
  • SOR/2013-175, s. 1

Where No Provisions

  •  (1) Whenever these Rules contain no provision for exercising a right or procedure, the Court, a judge or the Registrar may adopt any procedure that is not inconsistent with these Rules or the Act.

  • (2) A party may, on motion to a judge or the Registrar, request directions as to the procedure referred to in subrule (1).

Conditions and Proportionality

[
  • SOR/2016-271, s. 1
]
  •  (1) Whenever these Rules provide that the Court, a judge or the Registrar may make an order or give a direction, the Court, the judge or the Registrar, as the case may be, may impose any terms and conditions in the order or direction that they consider appropriate.

  • (2) In applying these Rules, the Court, a judge or the Registrar shall make orders and give directions that are proportionate to the complexity of the proceeding and the importance of the issues in dispute.

  • SOR/2016-271, s. 2

Computation of Time

  •  (1) The computation of time under these Rules or under an order of the Court, a judge or the Registrar is governed by the Interpretation Act.

  • (1.1) If the filing and serving are to be done within a specified number of weeks after a specified day or event, the period is calculated by

    • (a) excluding that day or the day of the event; and

    • (b) including the last day of the last seven-day period.

  • (2) A day that is a holiday shall not be included in computing a period of less than six days under these Rules.

  • (3) The month of July shall not be included in the computation of time under these Rules except for the service and filing of a notice of intervention under subrule 33(4), a factum, record or book of authorities on an appeal or a cross-appeal under Rules 35 to 37 and a motion for intervention under paragraph 56(b), including any response or reply.

  • (4) A day that is a holiday and the month of July shall be included in the computation of time under an order of the Court, a judge or the Registrar.

  • SOR/2006-203, s. 1
  • SOR/2011-74, s. 2
  • SOR/2013-175, s. 2
  • SOR/2016-271, s. 3

 Unless otherwise directed by the Court, a judge or the Registrar, and subject to section 58 of the Act, the period beginning on December 23 in a year and ending on January 3 in the following year is not to be included in a computation of time under these Rules for the service and filing of documents, except for the service and filing of a notice of constitutional question under subrule 33(2).

Extension or Abridgment

  •  (1) The Court, a judge or unless these Rules provide otherwise, the Registrar may, on motion or on their own initiative, extend or abridge a period provided for by these Rules.

  • (2) The affidavit in support of a motion for an extension or abridgement of time shall set out the reason for the delay or urgency, as the case may be.

Adjournment

  •  (1) The Chief Justice or, in his or her absence or at his or her request, any other judge may, on motion or on the judge’s own initiative, adjourn the hearing of any proceeding.

  • (2) The affidavit in support of a motion for an adjournment shall set out the facts or reasons for the adjournment.

Dispensing with Compliance

  •  (1) The Court, a judge or unless these Rules provide otherwise, the Registrar may, on motion or on their own initiative, excuse a party from complying with any of these Rules.

  • (2) The Court, a judge or the Registrar may refuse a document that does not comply with these Rules or that has not been served in accordance with these Rules or an order of the Court, a judge or the Registrar.

  • (3) Documents that do not comply with these Rules may be excluded from costs upon the order of the Court, a judge or the Registrar.

PART 2Administration of the Court

Business Hours

 The Registry of the Court shall be open every day except holidays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time unless otherwise directed by the Registrar.

  • SOR/2013-175, s. 3

Registrar to Keep Records

  •  (1) The Registrar shall keep all records necessary for documenting the proceedings of the Court.

  • (2) For each proceeding, the Registrar shall keep

    • (a) all documents and correspondence, including emails, that are filed in relation to a proceeding before the Court and all correspondence, judgments and orders of the Court that relate to that proceeding and that are delivered to the parties; and

    • (b) an electronic register in which all activities in the proceeding are recorded.

  • (3) If only one version of a document is filed, whether printed or electronic, that version shall be the official version. If both printed and electronic versions are filed the printed version shall be the official version unless the Registrar declares otherwise.

  • SOR/2011-74, s. 4(F)
  • SOR/2016-271, s. 5

Official Languages

  •  (1) A party may use either English or French in any oral or written communication with the Court.

  • (2) Subject to subrule (3), the Registrar shall provide to the parties services for simultaneous interpretation in both official languages during the hearing of every proceeding.

  • (3) In the case of a motion to be heard by a judge or the Registrar, the Registrar shall provide the services referred to in subrule (2) upon request of any party to the motion, made at least two days before the hearing of the motion.

PART 3Powers of the Registrar

Order of Registrar Binding

 Subject to Rule 78, every order made by the Registrar shall be binding on all parties concerned as if the order had been made by a judge.

Reference to the Court or a Judge

 The Registrar may refer any matter before him or her to the Court or a judge.

  • SOR/2016-271, s. 6

PART 4General Rules

Name of Party

  •  (1) In the case of an application for leave to appeal, an appeal referred to in paragraph 33(1)(b) or (c) or an originating motion, any party or intervener, other than an individual, shall file with the Registrar a notice of name in Form 14 to confirm its name in each of the official languages or to certify that it does not have a bilingual name.

  • (2) A party or intervener that has filed a notice of name may request that the Registrar consider the notice as permanent so that it will be applied to all other matters before the Court involving the party or intervener. Any changes that affect the notice of name shall be submitted in writing to the Registrar.

Representation of Parties

  •  (1) Subject to Rule 17, counsel for a party in the court appealed from is deemed to be counsel before the Court.

  • (2) Subject to subrule (3), a party may either act in person or be represented by counsel.

  • (3) Any party, other than an individual, shall be represented by counsel unless

    • (a) it was permitted to be represented by a person other than counsel in any of the lower courts and it chooses to continue to be represented by that person in the Court; or

    • (b) on motion, a judge grants it leave to be represented by a person other than counsel in accordance with the applicable federal or provincial legislative enactment.

  • SOR/2013-175, s. 5
  • SOR/2016-271, s. 8

Agents

  •  (1) A party to any proceeding may choose to conduct business with the Registrar through an agent.

  • (2) [Repealed, SOR/2020-281, s. 1]

  • (3) No agent shall represent more than one party in any proceeding except with the consent of each party represented by the agent.

  • (4) An agent who represents two opposing parties shall file with the Registrar a notice in Form 16.

  • (5) A party may appoint a permanent agent by filing with the Registrar a notice to that effect.

Change of Representation or Withdrawal of Counsel or Agent

  •  (1) A party may change their counsel or agent by identifying the new counsel or agent on the originating document, or during the course of the proceeding, by serving on all other parties and filing with the Registrar a notice of change setting out the name, address and telephone number, and the fax number and email address, if any, of the new counsel or agent.

  • (2) A party who was represented by counsel in the court appealed from may elect to act in person by signing the originating document.

  • (3) A party who was not represented by counsel in the court appealed from may elect to be represented by counsel by serving on all other parties and filing with the Registrar a notice to that effect.

  • (4) A counsel may choose to cease to represent a party before the Court by

    • (a) serving on all other parties and filing with the Registrar a notice of withdrawal of counsel accompanied by the consent of the party; or

    • (b) in the absence of the consent of the party, making a motion to a judge or the Registrar for an order that the counsel no longer represents the party, and serving on that party and all other parties the motion and, if the motion is granted, the order of withdrawal.

  • (5) An agent may cease to represent a party by serving on that party and all other parties and filing with the Registrar a notice of withdrawal.

  • SOR/2011-74, s. 6
  • SOR/2013-175, s. 7(F)
  • SOR/2016-271, s. 52(F)

Change in Contact Information

 A party shall serve on all other parties and file with the Registrar a notice of any change in their contact information without delay.

  • SOR/2013-175, s. 8

Adding, Substituting and Removing Parties

[
  • SOR/2013-175, s. 9
]
  •  (1) A person may be added or substituted as a party on motion before a judge or the Registrar that sets out the reasons for the addition or substitution.

  • (2) Subject to subrule (5), no person shall be added or substituted as a party without the person’s consent being filed with the Registrar.

  • (3) The motion referred to in subrule (1) shall also be served on the proposed added or substituted party.

  • (4) Parties added or substituted shall be served with all documents provided for in these Rules, and any time periods shall begin as provided for in the order unless a judge or the Registrar otherwise orders.

  • (4.1) A party who is named in the style of cause can be removed on the consent of the applicant or the appellant, as the case may be, or on motion before a judge or the Registrar that sets out the reasons for the removal.

  • (5) In any proceeding, the Court or a judge may order that a party be added, substituted or removed if, in the opinion of the Court or the judge, the addition, substitution or removal is necessary to enable the Court to adjudicate the questions in issue.

  • SOR/2013-175, s. 10
 
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