What is a Book of Authorities at Divisional Court in Ontario?


Although the Divisional Court hears appeals from many types of courts and tribunals, if you are specifically interested in appealing a decision of the Small Claims Court, then we recommend reading How to appeal a Small Claims Court case in Ontario before reading this article.

It is of great assistance to the Divisional Court for the parties to file casebooks containing copies of the cases to which they intend to refer on the hearing of the appeal. These cases are known as “authorities."

The Appellant's Book of Authorities must be bound front and back in white covers. The Respondent’s Book of Authorities must be bound front and back in green covers. If the appeal is before a panel of judges, each party should file three copies of its Book of Authorities. The Book of Authorities should include a tab for each case (either numerical or alphabetical), and should include an index of the cases and indicate the tab where the case is reproduced. The particular passages in the cases to which you wish to refer should be clearly marked with highlighting, underlining or sidebars.

The Book of Authorities should include only the cases that you have referred to in the Factum. The Book of Authorities should be filed, if possible, with the Factum, but if not possible, then not later than Monday of the week preceding the hearing of the appeal. If you and the respondent(s) agree, you can file a joint Book of Authorities.

The Divisional Court maintains a Judges’ Book of Authorities containing frequently cited authorities. If you are referring to a case in the Judges’ Book of Authorities, you do not need to include the full case in your Book of Authorities. However, you should include the extracts you intend to refer the judge(s) to in your Factum or your Book of Authorities. A list of the authorities in the Judges’ Book is available at www.ontariocourts.ca and at Divisional Court offices.

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