- Created by: georgiamiles17
- Created on: 10-10-18 18:54
An appeal is a legal act of putting right any unjust or incorrect decisions, whether caused by errors of fact, law or procedure. It allows equal access to justice for all. They are so important due to their ability to create a precedent and further the development of the legal discipline.
Appeals are governed by the Criminal Appeal Act of 1995.
WHO CAN APPEAL?
Both the Prosecution and Defence can raise an appeal.
The Defence can raise an appeal based on:
- an error of fact
- an error of law
- an error of procedure
The Prosecution can raise an appeal based on the same things, but when one of these errors resulted in the acquittal of a guilty person.
THE PROCESS OF APPEAL
MAGISTRATES TO CROWN
An appeal from the Magistrates Court to the Crown Court is only available to the Defence. If the Defendant has submitted a not guilty plea, they can appeal the conviction in its entirety. However, if they have submitted a guilty plea they may only appeal the sentence. The Crown Court hears the case from the start, with a new judge and two magistrates to prevent bias. The bench can either reaffirm or change the decision of the Magistrates Court.
CROWN COURT TO HIGH COURT (QBD)
Both the Prosecution and the Defence are able to appeal to the QBD, based on an error of law, usually of public importance. The presiding judge conducts a formal interpretation of the given law and compares their results with the original decision made. They can then choose to either change the conviction, maintain it, or overturn it entirely.
THE PROCESS OF APPEAL PT.2
CROWN COURT TO COURT OF APPEAL
If the appeal is denied in the Crown Court, the defence team could choose to appeal to a higher court, The Court of Appeal, to once again, appeal either the conviction or the severity of the sentence. This route is also open to the prosecution, who can appeal against an acquittal, or a lenient sentence. However, any appeal to the Court of Appeal must be based on a point of law or new evidence. These appeals are heard by 3 Lord Justices of Appeal. These Lord Justices have 5 possible options based on the case they are presented with. If the case is based on conviction/acquittal, they are able to either confirm, or quash it. A confirmation means the conviction or acquittal stands, whereas quashing the conviction or acquittal means they will decide to change it.
COURT OF APPEAL TO SUPREME COURT
The final step of the appeals process in the Supreme Court. It is expensive and time consuming, but can be used to appeal in cases where a point of law is in question, and the findings will be of general public importance.