An accused is entitled to appeal their disposition to the British Columbia Court of Appeal. If you would like to do so, please contact the Court of Appeal. An appeal may be based on a question of law, fact, or both. Under section 672.78 (1), the Court of Appeal may allow the appeal if:

  • (a) the disposition is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence;
  • (b) is based on a wrong decision on a question of law; or
  • (c) there was a miscarriage of justice.

The Supreme Court of Canada has made clear that, in light of the Review Board’s expertise, courts should not interfere with the Board’s risk assessment judgments unless those judgments are clearly unreasonable. The Supreme Court of Canada put the matter this way in R. v. Owen, 2003 SCC 33, [2003] 1 SCR 779:

If the Board’s decision is such that it could reasonably be the subject of disagreement among Board members properly informed of the facts and instructed on the applicable law, the court should in general decline to intervene. (para. 33)

This “judicial deference” to the Review Board means that the Review Board’s risk assessment decision will, for all practical purposes, be final in most cases. The finality of Review Board decisions only re-emphasizes the Review Board’s responsibility to carry out its risk assessment function independently, with integrity, and consistent with the mandate given to it by the Criminal Code.

Should you choose to submit an appeal, it must be done within 15 days of receiving the disposition and reasons for it.

If you wish to retain legal counsel, you may wish to contact previous counsel or Legal Aid BC.