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Appeals

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In this section you will find information about District Court sentence appealsappeals against conviction (also known as “all grounds appeal”), appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal, and appeals to the High Court.

General information about the appeal process in NSW

An appeal is an application to a higher court to reconsider the decision of a lower court. In all appeals except appeals from the Local Court to the District Court you will normally need to show that there has been an error of law.

Please choose the type of appeal you would like information about or read on for general information about appeals.



General information about the appeal process in NSW

An appeal is an application to a higher court to reconsider the decision of a lower court. In all appeals except appeals from the Local Court to the District Court you will normally need to show that there has been an error of law.

The court hierarchy

In order to understand how the appeal process works you need to know a little about the court heirarchy. An appeal can only be made to a court higher in the heirarchy. For example a person can appeal a decision of the Local Court to the District Court, but it does not work in reverse.

The court hierarchy

The Local Court

The Local Court is the lowest court. Under its criminal jurisdiction, it deals with summary (more minor and common) offences and certain indictable (more serious) offences that can be tried summarily. The vast majority of cases consist of such offences, and thus most cases are dealt with by the Local Courts.

The Local Court also conducts committal proceedings to determine whether or not indictable offences are to be committed to the District and Supreme Courts. Local Court cases are heard by a single Magistrate.

The District Court

The District Court is the intermediate Court. Under its criminal jurisdiction, it deals with indictable offences except murder, treason and piracy. The court also hears appeals from the Local Court. These are usually heard by a single judge.

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest court in NSW. It handles the most serious criminal matters, such as treason, piracy and murder. The Court hears appeals on indictable offences, which take place in a separately constituted Court of Criminal Appeal.

The Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA)

The Court of Criminal Appeal is the State’s highest court for criminal matters and is a special division within the Supreme Court. A person who has been convicted or who pleaded guilty and has been sentenced by a Supreme Court or District Court Judge may appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The High Court

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian legal system. It interprets the law of Australia, and decides cases of special federal importance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and also hears appeals. However, appeals can only take place if the High Court grants special leave to appeal.


where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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