Appealing a decision

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What is an appeal?

An appeal is when a higher court reviews the decision made by a lower court. If an appeal is successful, the higher court can change the lower court’s decision or order the lower court to hear the matter again.


When can I request an appeal?

  • In a criminal or civil case if
    • a trial was not conducted fairly
    • the law was not applied correctly
    • the sentence was too harsh
    • the decision made by the Court cannot be supported by the evidence of the case
  • You may appeal the decision made in an appeal for these same reasons. In this instance you would move up the court hierarchy. You cannot appeal a decision made by the High Court.


What happens after I request an appeal?

If the Court believes you have good merit, that your claim is valid, then the case will be heard on appeal.


Time limits:

When appealing a decision most Courts have a time limit that you must appeal by.



When you appeal a decision you risk receiving a harsher penalty and potentially an adverse costs order (I.e. an order to pay the otherside’s legal costs). It is good to get legal advice if you wish to appeal a decision.


Where do I take an appeal?

When appealing a decision it is important to lodge your appeal with the correct Court. Each court has a different appellate jurisdiction

Appellate Jurisdiction: ‘Appellate jurisdiction’ is the authority of a court to deal with appeals that relate to certain areas of law.


This section includes information on the following appellate jurisdictions:


Further resources:

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Appealing a decision

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