I've analysed 1871 Supreme Court of Canada factums (88902 pages in total) to determine statistical information about factums for appellants, respondents and other parties (i.e. intervenors). This analysis was done using a program.
Appellants & Respondents
50% of all Supreme Court respondent/appellant factums are between 34 and 61 pages in length. 95% of all factums are 115 pages or less and 80% are 67 pages or less.
The mean factum length is 53 pages and the median is 47. Below is a box and whisker plot of the page lengths.
The graph below shows the distribution of factum length for the slightly over 1000 appellant and respondent factums.
This information is based on 401 cases (497 factums).
The median factum is 46 pages long and the average is 53.
75% of factums are 33 pages or more (the first quartile is 33). 25% are more than 61 pages long. 95% of all appellant factums are under 108 pages. 80% are 67 pages or less.
This information is based on 389 cases (516 factums).
The mean respondent factum is 53 pages long (same as for appellants) and the median is 47 pages (almost the same and statistically insignificant in my view).
75% of factums are at least 34 pages long and 25% are 60 or more pages long. 95% of all respondent factums are 117 pages or less. 80% are 65 pages or less.
There is almost no difference between appellant and respondent factums in terms of overall length of submissions.
"Other" factums are mostly interveners. In the 216 cases that had "other" factums there were 850 factums submitted.
The mean factum is 42 pages long (a fair bit less than for respondent or appellant factums). The median is 29 pages (much less than appellant/respondent).
80% of the factums are 52 pages or less and 75% of factums are at least 21 pages long.
Notes About Validity of Results
There are more factums than cases because in some cases there are multiple respondents and/or multiple appellants.
The reason why 50% of the appellant/respondent factums are between 34 and 61 pages is related to Rule 42 of the SCC Rules. There are page limits for different parts of the submission.
I have only included a factum if in the linking text on the SCC website they noted that it was an "appellant" or "respondent" factum. If it wasn't labelled as either of those, I counted it as "other". I don't think this method is 100% correct in identifying appellants/respondents vs. other (because I suspect some were labelled in French) but it's close enough that I think the results are worth reporting (and I think errors didn't bias the results between appellants and respondents). If you are interesting in learning more about some of the technical shortcomings please email me.
You can download compiled Excel spreadsheets of the data given above here: