Court of Criminal Appeal
The Criminal Appeal Act 1912 (the Act) sets out the Court's functions, powers and jurisdiction; other legislation also invests jurisdiction in the Court for certain matters.
The Court's procedural requirements are set out in the Supreme Court (Criminal Appeal) Rules 2021 (the Rules) and Practice Note SC CCA 1 – Court of Criminal Appeal – General (the Practice Note).
There are specific forms which must be used for filing in the Court of Criminal Appeal. The most common are a Notice of Intention to Appeal and a Notice of Appeal. Other Applications may also be filed with the Court (where the Court is invested with jurisdiction under the Act or other legislation). All forms are accessible here.
The following summary is not exhaustive. Parties should read the Act, the Rules and the Practice Note for full details.
TIME LIMIT FOR APPEALS
Appeals against conviction and/or sentence
- A Notice of Intention to Appeal (NIA) should be filed within 28 days. (It may be filed by email).
- If there is only an appeal against conviction, the time period commences from the date of sentence.
- If an NIA is sought to be filed after 28 days, the form must be accompanied by Annexure A to Notice of Intention to Appeal - Application for Extension of Time to give Notice of Intention to Appeal. The Application will be considered in Chambers by the Registrar.
- An applicant has 12 months after filing an NIA to file a Notice of Appeal with the Court, during which time transcripts, exhibits and any other material necessary for a merit assessment should be sought and an appeal filed.
- If an applicant encounters delays or other difficulties, in particular with transcripts, the CCA Registrar should be contacted for assistance.
- If no appeal is filed within 12 months, the NIA will expire and no extensions to the NIA can be granted. (See below for seeking leave to file a Notice of Appeal out of time).
- Rule 2.20 (6) of the Rules sets out procedures for accessing transcripts and exhibits, including sealed exhibits. (See also the Practice Note at 7). Specifically, applications for access to sealed exhibits should be made to the Court from which there is an intended appeal.
- If no NIA is filed, an appeal can still be filed within time if a Notice of Appeal is filed within 3 months of conviction or sentence. If there is only an appeal against conviction, the time period commences from the date of sentence.
Appeals against interlocutory decisions
- The filing of an NIA is inapplicable.
- A Notice of Appeal must be filed within 14 days of the decision appealed.
Appeals by the Crown against sentence
- The filing of an NIA is inapplicable.
- A Notice of Appeal must be filed within 28 days of the sentence.
Appeals filed out of time
- If a Notice of Appeal is filed out of time, it must be filed with a further document, Annexure B to Notice of Appeal – Application for Leave to File a Notice of Appeal after Expiry of the Filing Period.
- The granting of leave will be considered by the Court when the appeal (and leave application) are listed for hearing.
The Practice Note at 30-34 sets out the Court's requirements in relation to the filing and listing of interlocutory appeals, including questions which must be answered when filing and the content of written submissions.
Parties are directed to the Court's requirements in the Practice Note at 18-26 as to the layout and content of written submissions.
GENERAL FILING REQUIREMENTS
Forms must be completed in full, otherwise they may be rejected for filing. This includes annexures to any form.
A Notice of Appeal, for example, must always be filed with grounds of appeal, written submissions, as well as a list of days of relevant transcript and a list of exhibits, including certification as to their availability and whereabouts.
The requirement set out in 6(a) of the Practice Note to file hard copies of certain documents after e-filing is generally waived. There will be exceptions, and parties will be advised at the time of e-filing if three hard copies and a fourth e-copy must be provided to the Court within 24 hours of e-filing. The general waiver does not extend to filing Appeal Books, Colour exhibits, Non-documentary exhibits, and Sensitive, Confidential and/or Court-sealed documents, which must be filed in hard copy, as per the Practice Note at 6, unless otherwise ordered.
The original of all signed documents must still be provided to the Registry after e-filing, with a cover note confirming it is an original of a document previously e-filed with the Court and specifying the date of e-filing.
OTHER PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS
Parties are directed to the following provisions in the Practice Note:
- Provision of sealed exhibits to the Court (at 13)
- The content of appeal book indexes, for which orders will be made at call over and will be the responsibility of the moving party (at 14)
- Emailing written submissions in WORD format to the Court no later than 3 working days before a hearing (at 17)
- Provision of Lists of Authorities to the Court (at 27-29)