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Court of Appeal QLD

If you have had a decision made against you in court and feel that the decision was excessive, unfair or unjust, then you are able to make a formal appeal against the decision.

In Queensland, all appeals against a Magistrates Court decision are made in the District Court, whereas District Court and Supreme Court appeals are made in the Court of Appeal, where three Judges (but no jury) will decide on the outcome.

An appeal may be made with the leave (permission) of the Court of Appeal if a defendant has either pleaded or been found guilty. The Queensland Attorney General may also appeal a sentence if it is considered too lenient. The allowed time for an appeal is one calendar month from the initial decision; however, extra time may be allowed in some circumstances.

Prior to an appeal, the court previews the written arguments for the appeal. During an appeal, both sides –defence and prosecution – argue their cases for and against the appeal, while the judges refer to transcripts from the original trial or sentence. Based on this, the judges will either dismiss the appeal and the original decision will still stand, or they will allow the appeal.

If the appeal is allowed, there may be a reduction in the sentence if a sentence was appealed, or a release of the defendant – allowing them to go home – if an appeal against a conviction is granted. In the case of an appeal against a lenient sentence by the Attorney General, if this is granted, then the sentence will be increased. 

The Court of Appeal can:

  1. dismiss the appeal and uphold the decision of a lower court or tribunal
  2. allow the appeal,
  3. set aside the decision of the lower court and make a different order in its place.
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