The Criminal Code draws a distinction between appeals in indictable proceedings, which are governed by Part XXI, and applications for leave to appeal and, if leave is granted, appeals in summary conviction proceedings, which are governed by Part XXVII.

In indictable matters, the Court of Appeal provides the first level of appellate review, and the court’s jurisdiction is very broad.

In summary conviction appeal proceedings, the Superior Court of Justice is the primary appellate court, and it has the same broad jurisdiction. Access to the Court of Appeal from these decisions of the Superior Court is restricted to questions of law alone and only if leave to appeal is granted.

Leave to appeal from the decision of the Superior Court (made under s. 839 of the Criminal Code) should be granted sparingly, but may be granted in relation to a question of law alone where

1.       the issue raised is a matter of general significance to the administration of justice, and

2.       the ground is at least arguable; or where the merits appear very strong, even if the issue has no general importance beyond the parties.

R. v. R.R., 2008 ONCA 497, 90 O.R. (3d) 641