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5 Grounds to challenge a decision of the Parole Board of Canada

A prisoner can challenge a decision of the Parole Board of Canada by filing an appeal with the Appeal Division. This typically needs to be done within 60 days from when the decision was made.

Prisoners can challenge a denial of parole or decision to detain them past their statutory release date. They can also appeal the conditions imposed on their conditional release. For example, a prisoner may want to appeal a residency condition, requirement to pursue certain treatment, etc.

The only exception is for Long-Term Offenders, who generally do not have access to the Appeal Division. Instead, they must challenge decisions directly to the Federal Court.

The Appeal Division can only grant an appeal if the panel that decided the case:


  • failed to observe a principle of fundamental justice;

  • made an error of law;

  • breached or failed to apply a policy adopted pursuant to subsection 151(2);

  • based its decision on erroneous or incomplete information; or

  • acted without jurisdiction or beyond its jurisdiction, or failed to exercise its jurisdiction

Simply expressing displeasure with the decision or how the panel weighed certain factors may not be enough to win an appeal. It’s important that an appeal is framed in a way that shows the Appeal Division how one or more of the above grounds apply.

If you need assistance preparing an appeal, contact us today.


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