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Appeals criminal cases
From the magistrates courts (exercising its criminal
jurisdiction) there are 4 routes of appeal:
1. Under the Criminal Appeals Act (1995) magistrates can rectify
an error meaning the case is re-tried.
2. Either the prosecution or accused can appeal on an error of law
or that the magistrates have acted outside their powers. This
appeal would be heard by the Divisional Court of the Queen's
Bench (part of the High Court). This procedure is known as `an
appeal by way of case stated'.
3. If the defendant pleaded not guilty there is a right of appeal
(within 28 days) as of right to the Crown Court. This can either
be against the conviction or sentence and is usually heard by a
circuit judge and between 2 4 magistrates (not the original
ones). The court will re-hear the facts of the case and can
either confirm the original verdict/sentence or substitute its
own decision (it can also increase the original sentence.)
4. The defendant can ask the Criminal Cases Review Commission to
review the case.
From the Crown Court there are three types of appeal:
1. An appeal can be made on the grounds of fact, law or length of
sentence to the Court of Appeal (if given leave to appeal).
However, only the accused can appeal from the Crown Court to
the Court of Appeal. From there either party (the accused or
prosecution) can appeal to the House of Lords on a point of law.
2. Under the Criminal Appeals Act 1995, appeal from the Crown
Court can be made to the High Court by way of case stated.
3. The Court of Appeal can admit fresh evidence "in the interests
of justice". In addition the Court of Appeal can direct the
Criminal Cases Review Commission to investigate and report on
any matters relevant when deciding whether to allow the appeal.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission:
The Criminal Appeals Act 1995 set up the Criminal Cases Review
Commission (CCRC) to replace the old s.17 procedure. The main
reasons for it to refer cases back to the Court of Appeal are because
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There is currently a backlog of cases for the Criminal Cases Review
Commission to consider but the CCRC has now been given increased
resources to deal more speedily with its workload and has improved
its procedures.…read more