Federal Courts Act - Source: Department of Justice Canada
Appeals from the Federal Court
Appeals from the Tax Court of Canada
Judicial review proceeding and appeals from federal tribunals and other federal decision makers
DISCLAIMER: The legislative enactments listed hereunder are not exhaustive and should not be relied upon without the assistance of legal advice from a qualified professional. The legislation is current to August 1, 2013. The legislation may have been amended, replaced or repealed since this date, and it is therefore important to refer to the pertinent provisions as published in the Government of Canada Justice Laws Website.
The Federal Court of Appeal hears both appeals and applications for judicial review from a number of courts, tribunals and administrative decision makers.
As a general rule (but subject to exceptions) when the Federal Court of Appeal deals with an appeal, it must decide whether the court appealed from committed an error in law in reaching its decision or made a “palpable and overriding” error in assessing the facts. Most of the judgments of the Federal Court and of the Tax Court of Canada are subject to an appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal.
When the Federal Court of Appeal deals with an application for judicial review pursuant to the combined operation of subsection 28(2) and 18.1(4) of the Federal Courts Act, subject to certain exceptions, it may grant relief if it is satisfied that the concerned board, commission or tribunal:
- acted without jurisdiction, acted beyond its jurisdiction or refused to exercise its jurisdiction;
- failed to observe a principle of natural justice, procedural fairness or other procedure that it was required by law to observe;
- erred in law in making a decision or an order, whether or not the error appears on the face of the record;
- based its decision or order on an erroneous finding of fact that it made in a perverse or capricious manner or without regard for the material before it;
- acted, or failed to act, by reason of fraud or perjured evidence; or
- acted in any other way that was contrary to law.
The Federal Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine applications for judicial review from the federal boards, commissions or tribunals listed in subsection 28(1) of the Federal Courts Act.
Certain decisions of some of the commissions and tribunals listed in subsection 28(1) of the Federal Courts Act may also be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal pursuant to specific legislation. This applies notably to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the National Energy Board, the Canadian Transportation Agency and the Competition Tribunal. By the combined effect of paragraph 28(2) and of section 18.5 of the Federal Courts Act, in cases where Parliament has expressly provided in an Act for an appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal from a decision or order of a federal board, commission or tribunal, that decision is not, to the extent it may be so appealed, subject to judicial review except in accordance with that Act.
The Federal Court of Appeal also has jurisdiction in other matters pursuant to federal legislation.
If you wish to bring in the Federal Court of Appeal a challenge to a decision of one of the courts, tribunals, or decision makers, you will find under the name of each such court, tribunal or decision maker, some of the pertinent legislative enactments providing for the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Appeal to deal with the matter.