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What is a criminal motion

A criminal motion is an application to the General Division of the High Court or Court of Appeal by the accused or prosecution in a criminal case.

Criminal motions can cover a variety of applications. Common ones include:

  • Bail pending trial or appeal.
  • Variation of the amount of bail offered.
  • Extension of time to file a Notice of Appeal or Petition of Appeal.
  • Quashing (to reject or set aside) or varying an order by the State Courts.
  • Transfer a case from the State Courts to the General Division of the High Court.
  • Request for leave to refer any question of law of public interest to the Court of Appeal.
  • Request for production of papers and documents that are not court records.
  • Adduction (introduction) of further evidence in court.

When you can file

As the accused, you can file a criminal motion at any time during, before or after your criminal proceedings, depending on the nature of the application.

If you are filing a criminal motion for leave to refer a question of law of public interest to the Court of Appeal, you should file within 1 month of the related High Court decision, unless the Court of Appeal permits.(1)

How to file a criminal motion

You can file to either the General Division of the High Court or Court of Appeal, depending on your case. There are no filing fees.

You need to submit these 2 documents via eLitigation:

A Notice of Motion form

You will need to file a Notice of Motion (Forms 72 to 75 of the Criminal Procedure Rules).

Which form you need depends on what you are applying for:

  • For variation of bail: Form 73.
  • For extension of time to file an application: Form 74.
  • For adduction of further evidence: Form 75.
  • For other applications: Form 72.

In general, the form should include:

  • Information on your original case (case number, date, parties involved).
  • The nature of your application (what you are applying for).

A supporting affidavit

This is a signed statement made under oath that explains the reasons for your application. Find out how to prepare an affidavit.

After filing a criminal motion

After you file a criminal motion, the court will inform you of your hearing date via post or email. You must ensure that the notice of motion and any supporting affidavit or written submissions are served on the other party at least 7 days before the date of the hearing.

You have to attend court and explain your case. The judge will decide whether to grant (approve) or dismiss (reject) your application.


Legislation associated with this topic includes Sections 405 to 409 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Refer to:

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

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