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Appeals: What Are They & How Do They Work?

high court of australia interior


Due to the abundance of legal dramas and televisions shows, there are often misconceptions around contemporary legal processes. This is made more complicated by the varying procedures and systems that exist depending on the state, territory, or country that you live in. In real life the process of appealing a verdict can be lengthy and cumbersome. If you are considering appealing a recent verdict, we recommend consulting a commercial lawyer or conducting thorough research into the costs and procedures required to do so. At Allied Legal, we have provided some answers for you below:   

What is an Appeal? 

An appeal is a legal process through which a person can challenge a decision made by a court, tribunal, or government department. At Allied Legal, we recommend seeking trustworthy legal advice from a commercial Melbourne lawyer before appealing. This will save you time, money and energy as a commercial lawyer will be able to advise you on whether your sentence was either appropriate or unjust under the law.

The Appeals Process 

For your appeal to be successful, you will need to successfully argue that the court or tribunal that heard your original case made an error of law or an error of fact. If the Judge who presided over your case applied an incorrect principle of law or made a finding that could not be supported by the evidence, your case may be overturned. Despite this, legal proceedings in the Supreme Court or High Court are expensive. If you lose your case, you may need to pay substantial fees, so we recommend consulting a commercial lawyer first to avoid wasting your time and money.  

Generally, appeals in Australia require permission from the Court of Appeal before they can be heard, which is known as ‘leave to appeal’. The Court of Appeal is a division of the Supreme Court that hears civil appeals made by a judge in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria or in the County Court of Victoria. In Victoria, a Notice of Appeal must be filed within 28 to 48 days of the magistrate’s decision. This time limit varies depending on the decision you are appealing. For example, you will have 28 days to appeal against a decision about an extension of time, discovery, or the removal or substitution of a party. Unfortunately, drafting a Notice of Appeal is very difficult, so if you are appealing a verdict in Victoria, we strongly recommend that you prepare this appeal with the guidance of a Melbourne based lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, you will need to submit your documents via RedCrest, an electronic filing platform. You will then be notified by email when the documents have been accepted and are ready for you to serve with the Court’s seal. You will usually need to serve the counterparty your documents within a prescribed period (depending on the nature of the appeal) which should generally be done in person.

Need Help?  Contact Us  

At Allied Legal, we recommend seeking the advice of a commercial lawyer before undertaking any commercial legal action. A qualified commercial lawyer will be able to assist you throughout each step of your appeal. To speak with one of our commercial lawyers you can connect with us on 03 8691 3111 or sending us an email at hello@alliedlegal.com.au. 

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