Appeals to the Court of Appeal – The Criminal Procedure Act
The Court of Appeal hears matters directly from the County and Supreme Courts. Under section 274 of the Criminal Procedure Act the accused has the right to seek leave to appeal against conviction. Under section 278 the accused has the right to seek leave to appeal against sentence. An application can, and often will, proceed on both fronts.
Under sections 275 and section 279, leave applications must be filed in accordance with the practice directions of the Court. Presently this is within 28 days of the person being sentenced.
Unlike appeals from the Magistrates’ Court to the County Court, there is no guarantee that an application for leave to appeal will be granted.
Appeals to the Court of Appeal – Not to be taken lightly
There is a huge amount of work that must be completed to file a leave application. For an appeal against conviction, trial transcripts must be obtained and for an appeal against sentence, sentencing remarks must be obtained. In regard to both applications instructions must be sought.
The practice directions of the Court of Appeal have recently changed, and fully developed written submissions are required. These must now be submitted to the Court of Appeal registry within 28 days in order to lodge the application.
If they are not submitted within the prescribed time under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Act an affidavit must be filed with the leave application, seeking an extension of time in regard to submitting the leave application, but there is no guarantee that the application to submit out of time will be granted.
It is critical you seek legal advice when appealing from the above mentioned Courts. It is a technical area of law and needs to be handled by criminal lawyers with experience in the appellant Courts.