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Canada aims at a Simplified and Eco-Friendly Leave Application Procedure

Canada aims at a Simplified and Eco-Friendly Leave Application Procedure

The Apex Court of Canada has introduced requisite amends to its Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada to make the leave application process easier and has also made the whole process eco-friendly by mandating the application for leave to be filed in an electronic format. Also, for the proceedings, the agents are no longer needed. 

The amendments took effect from January 27th, 2020. 

Barbara Kincaid, General Counsel of the Supreme Court of Canada, states that the Supreme Court of Canada's laws are examined regularly and adjusted every two years. In December 2017, Chief Justice Richard Wagner, who assumed office, ordered a comprehensive review of the rules, she claims, partially to enhance automated procedures and electronic reporting. "The most important amendments are to the process of requesting leave," Kincaid says. 'The objective of the amendments is to simplify the procedure of seeking leave,' which comprises the notice of application, the lower court's rulings to be appealed, and the memorandum of argument.

Amendment to Rule 25(1)(d) shall be considered particularly notable. Because the relevant parties were previously made to submit a lot of supporting documents concerning their leave application under this rule. The change made to paragraph (d) limits this need for supporting documents as transcripts or evidence contained in the lower court is now used—this where the process is contoured.


The prerequisite for the use of agents, i.e., lawyers working in the National Capital Region, was officially and informally posed by members of the bar for hearings before the Supreme Court and the Court held deliberation with the concerned lawyers as well as the Bar Council of Canada regarding the prerequisite to obtain feedback.

This prerequisite was of special interest to the intervenors who were not considered the principal parties in the appeal process but still had to pay for the auxiliary legal personnel. The court has contended that parties are free to use the lawyers since they hold expertise in the Supreme Court, which would help in enhancing efficiency. 

Procedure for filing

Only two aspects of the application for leave are necessary to be submitted in electronic form under the existing guidelines: the notice of application for leave to appeal and the memorandum of argument. But with the amendment in place, all the elements shall be filed and apportioned electronically. 

The Obligation for printing is mitigated, as only the original (duly signed) version of the leave request and two copies (rather than five), need to be filed by the parties. That being said, owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic, this need for printed copies remains suspended since strictly limited court registry employees work in the courtroom and have a comparatively lower capacity to process such applications from their homes.

The applicant shall also encompass the hyperlinks to the reasons for the lower court (if available) in their electronic leave application. He/She no longer have to furnish an "affidavit of support" along with their leave application. 

In addition, an applicant who is appealing for leave or cross-appealing for the same shall send the e-version (by e-mail) of such applications to all respondents, all other applicants, and all interveners, and a read or delivery receipt shall also be filed with the registrar.