How Cases Come to the Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal (Civil) Rules 2005 set out the procedural requirements for pursuing civil appeals.
The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from any judgment, decree or order of the High Court. Where the appeal to the Court of Appeal is itself an appeal from another court to the High Court, a further appeal to the Court of Appeal is available only if leave to appeal is given by the High Court or, where leave is refused by the High Court, by the Court of Appeal. Appeals on questions of law from the Employment Court can, with the leave of the Court of Appeal, be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
If an application for leave to appeal is required, the Rules set out the documents and information needed to assist the court in coming to a decision. The court makes its decision based on the documents filed plus any oral submissions made at the hearing of the application.
If the application for leave is granted or there is a right of appeal, the Rules set out the procedure to follow for the substantive hearing of the appeal. This could occur before the civil appeals division or before the full court. In either case the appeal will be conducted by way of a rehearing.
The Court of Appeal (Criminal) Rules 2001 set out the procedural requirements for pursuing criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal. The Crimes Act 1961 also contains both substantive and procedural provisions relevant to criminal appeals to the Court of Appeal.
Any person convicted on indictment may appeal to the Court of Appeal (or with the leave of the Supreme Court, to the Supreme Court) against the conviction, or the sentence passed on conviction (unless the sentence is one fixed by law) or both.
The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear appeals against pre-trial rulings in criminal cases. There is a right of appeal with respect to High Court decisions granting or refusing bail or in respect of conditions of bail.
An appeal or application for leave to appeal must be dealt with by way of a hearing involving oral submissions unless the judge or court making the decision on the mode of hearing determines on the basis of the information contained in the notice of appeal, notice of application or other written material provided by the parties, that the appeal or application can be fairly dealt with on the papers.
If the appellant is in custody he or she is not entitled to be present at a hearing involving oral submissions unless there is a legislative right to be present, or the Court of Appeal grants leave. Most criminal appeals will be dealt with by the criminal appeals division of the Court of Appeal, constituting one Court of Appeal judge and two High Court judges.
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