How to apply for Criminal Conviction Review

Preparing a conviction review application will take some time and effort from you. The following steps will tell you how to proceed.

Step 1: The Application Form (Form No. 1)

Form no. 1 is the application for a conviction review (i.e. Application for Ministerial Review - Miscarriages of Justice). You must use this form to apply for a conviction review. A letter or other document requesting a conviction review will not be accepted.

Fill out all parts of the application form. All of the information requested is important. If you fail to provide the information requested in the application form or provide incomplete or inaccurate information, the processing of your conviction review application will be delayed.

Make sure that your writing or typing is clear and can be easily read.

Step 2: Consent to the Release of Personal Information (Form No. 2)

You must fill out all parts of the Consent to the Release of Personal Information (Form no. 2). Sign and date the form and have someone sign and date the form as your witness.

Privacy laws protect and limit access to your personal information. This form allows CCRG to:

  • have access to your personal information that is relevant to your conviction review application (e.g. personal information held by other government departments), and
  • disclose your personal information to another person or body in order to obtain information that is useful in assessing your application (e.g. obtaining a forensic report from an expert).

Step 3: Waiver of Solicitor-Client Privilege (Form No. 3)

Fill out all parts of the Waiver of Solicitor-Client Privilege (Form no. 3). Sign and date the form. Have someone sign and date the form as your witness.

Solicitor-client privilege means that any lawyer who represented you at any time during the proceedings (e.g. preliminary inquiry, trial, appeal to the provincial court of appeal, appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada) must keep all information provided by you, or to you, completely confidential. Your lawyers cannot disclose any of this information without your permission.

The Waiver of Solicitor-Client Privilege gives your lawyers permission to disclose information that is relevant to your conviction review application to the CCRG.

Step 4: Supporting Documents

You must submit a number of documents with your conviction review application. Before submitting your conviction review application, obtain the following documents:

  • Copies of all documents from the pre-trial proceedings, including the information or indictment, motion material filed by the defence, motion material filed by the Crown, preliminary hearing transcript, and transcripts of other pre-trial proceedings.
  • Copies of all documents from the trial proceedings, including the information or indictment, material filed by the defence, material filed by the Crown, trial transcript, and trial court's decision.
  • Copies of all documents from the appeal proceedings, including fresh evidence applications, leave applications, appellant's factum(s), respondent's factum(s), court of appeal decision, and Supreme Court of Canada decision.
  • Copies of any other supporting documents (e.g. statements from witnesses, affidavits from witnesses, transcripts of examinations of witnesses, letters, photographs, plans, drawings, technical and scientific reports).

Your trial lawyer and/or your appeal lawyer should have these documents or be able to assist you in locating them.

You should also note that you may be asked to submit additional information in response to questions that arise during the course of the review.

Step 5: Submitting the Application

Send your application form, Consent to the Release of Personal Information, Waiver of Solicitor-Client Privilege, and all supporting documents to:

Minister of Justice
Criminal Conviction Review Group
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8

There is no fee for submitting a conviction review application.

Checklist

Before sealing the envelope, be sure you have completed steps 1 to 5. Use the checklist below to ensure that your conviction review application is complete.

  1. Application (Form no. 1): Ensure that all parts of the application have been filled out clearly, completely and accurately
  2. Consent to the Release of Personal Information (Form no. 2): Ensure that you have filled out all parts of the form clearly, completely and accurately and that both you and your witness have signed and dated the form.
  3. Waiver of Solicitor-Client Privilege (Form no. 3): Ensure that you have filled out all parts of the form clearly, completely and accurately and that both you and your witness have signed and dated the form.
  4. Supporting Documents: Ensure that all required documents are included and/or that arrangements have been made to forward to us all documents not in your possession.

Acknowledgement

When the Minister of Justice receives your conviction review application, you will be sent a written acknowledgement. If the application is incomplete, you will be notified as soon as possible. A preliminary assessment cannot begin until your application is complete.

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