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The miscarriage of justice review process

Current process and changes


At present, the miscarriage of justice review process is set out in Part XXI.1 of the Criminal Code. Following the release of a government-commissioned report by the Honourable Justices LaForme and Westmoreland-Traoré, Justice Minister David Lametti introduced Bill C-40 in Parliament. The Bill proposes substantial changes to the miscarriage of justice review process. If passed, the process will change within a few months.

We have prepared a section on the changes to the miscarriage of justice process that are proposed in this Bill, but this section is not entirely translated in english at the moment. You can still consult it by clicking on the button below.

Current review process

Submission of the application

Some criterias must be met : Appeals must have been exhausted, and there must be significant new issues (and usually new evidence must be available).Les recours en appel doivent avoir été épuisés et il doit y avoir de nouvelles

More information is available on the Parliament's website.

Preliminary assessment

The Criminal Conviction Review Group (CCRG) conducts the preliminary assessment on behalf of the Minister.

Investigation & Report

The Criminal Conviction Review Group (CCRG) conducts the investigation on behalf of the Minister. The CCRG consults with the following parties: the applicant, the person claiming to be the victim of a miscarriage of justice, and his or her counsel; and the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP), the party involved in the criminal proceedings.

Once the CCRG has completed its investigation, it will issue an investigation report.

The Minister of Justice is personally responsible for any decision made on an application that has reached the investigation stage. The Minister may also refer one or more matters concerning the application to the Court of Appeal.


The Minister reviews the report and other documents. The Minister then makes a decision on the following options:

  1. Order a new trial

  2. Refer the case to the Court of Appeal

  3. Reject the application

Processus actuel

Conviction Review Process Flowchart
when a request for review is submitted


Preliminary assessment

by CCRG lawyers

Decision to open an investigation

Decision not to initiate an investigation




with the CCRG

Review by the Special Advisor



Legal opinion and recommendations

Review by the Special Advisor 

Legal opinion and recommendations by the Special Advisor


with the CCRG

         not referred to the investigation

Decision by the Minister of Justice

Referral to the Court of Appeal

for its opinion


Negative decision

Rejection of the application

Positive Decision

New hearing

New trial

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