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Dictionary To Appeals Section

You may come across these legal terms when reading through the content of the appeals section of our website.

Sentence Appeal

An appeal against the severity or leniency of a sentence.

Conviction Appeal

An appeal against a finding of guilt, the recording of the finding, and the complete orders made by a court in relation to the finding.

All Grounds Appeal

An appeal against conviction and, if unsuccessful, an appeal against severity of sentence.

Appeal As Of Right

An appeal that can be pursued without the need to obtain the court’s permission.

Appeal By Leave

An appeal that can only be pursued once you have been granted leave (permission) by the court that will hear the appeal. Whether or not the court will grant leave depends on the facts and circumstances of your case.


The act of rendering something void. In this case, it means to set aside a conviction or sentence.

Court Of Appeal

The Court of Appeal is a division of the Supreme Court and is the highest criminal court in the Australian Capital Territory. It hears appeals from the Supreme Court. Three judges sit as a panel in Court of Appeal matters.

The Court of Appeal is a court of review. It hears matters from other courts. Where a conviction is challenged, the court will review the proceedings and the judgment of the lower court, and must decide whether there was an error of law in the original court.

Error Of Law

An error of law is a misinterpretation or misapplication of a principle of law, or the application of an inappropriate principle of law to the facts concerned. The Court of Appeal may grant leave to appeal in matters involving questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law. It may also grant leave to appeal in cases where the severity or adequacy of the sentence is challenged.

High Court

The High Court was established in 1901 and the highest court in the Australian judicial system. It is the court of final appeal. It hears appeals from the federal, Commonwealth, state and territory courts.

High Court Appeal

A High Court appeal is an appeal from a lower court such as the Supreme Court, District Court or Local Court. When a matter is taken to the High Court, the party that wishes to appeal must persuade the High Court in a preliminary hearing that there is just cause for the appeal to be heard.

Special Leave

Special leave is required for High Court appeals. It is the agreement, given by three judges of the High Court that a party should be allowed to pursue an appeal to the High Court.  This is usually only granted where the appeal concerns a question of law that is of public importance.

If you require legal advice about appeals or any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Andrew Fraser - Managing Associate - Canberra

This article was written by Andrew Fraser - Managing Associate - Canberra

Andrew works in the areas of criminal law and traffic law, providing practical advice in all of his clients’ matters. Andrew has, over many years, developed positive working relationships with prosecutors, magistrates and judges. His no-nonsense approach means he has a reputation for putting forward the best case possible for clients. Andrew has won many matters for his clients, including...

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