Guide to the 2021 Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

Coming into force on January 27, 2021


Rule 16
Parties are no longer required to use agents for appeals, although they are still permitted to do so in all proceedings.

Applications for Leave to Appeal and Applications for Leave to Cross-Appeal, as well as Responses and Replies

Rules 25-31
The Court has simplified the leave application process for parties, counsel, agents and the Court itself. This new process will also facilitate the electronic filing of materials.

Under the new process, parties need only file with the Registrar the original and two copies of the printed version of the leave application, the response and the reply. If hyperlinks to the reasons of the lower courts are available, the applicant must include them in the electronic version of the leave application. The applicant is not required to provide an affidavit in support of their leave application.

In addition to the service requirements under the Supreme Court Act, an applicant seeking either leave to appeal or leave to cross-appeal must:

  • send the electronic version of the application to all other applicants, all respondents and all interveners by email and file a read or delivery receipt with the Registrar; and
  • send a copy of the notice of application to any party in the court appealed from who is not named in the style of cause and file with the Registrar a confirmation that the notice has been sent.

Notice of Appeal

Rule 33(1)(b)
In the case of an appeal as of right, an appellant must now include as a schedule to the notice of appeal a copy of the information or indictment, as well as the reasons for judgment of the court of first instance, the notation on the indictment or on the equivalent thereof, and the judgment and the reasons for judgment of the court appealed from.

Reconsideration of Application for Leave to Appeal

Rule 73
For consistency with the filing requirements for leave applications, the Court has amended Rule 73 to provide that parties need file with the Registrar only the original and two copies of the motion for reconsideration and a related response and reply.

Judgment of the Court

Rule 79
A judge may sign a judgment by facsimile.

Amending Judgment

Rule 81
A party wanting to amend a judgment or reasons for judgment must make a motion to a judge.  The Court will no longer accept requests to the Registrar.

The Court or a judge can, if necessary, amend the judgment or reasons after the judgment’s release.


The Court has amended the related forms accordingly.

Guidelines for Preparing Documents to be Filed with the Supreme Court of Canada (Print and Electronic)

The Registry will be updating the Guidelines for Preparing Documents to be Filed with the Supreme Court of Canada (Print and Electronic) to reflect the above noted amendments closer to their coming into force date.