How to appeal the courts decision
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10 June 2012
It is not often that this firm loses a case, but when we do our
clients' first question is "how can we appeal and which court?".
With this in mind I supply you with the following information on the
process of appeal.
It happens - decisions are made in error, and the system of appeals is
designed to ensure that these are corrected. There is a strong public
interest in regarding judicial decisions as final and binding, and an
appeals system with no end would undermine this by encouraging
unsuccessful litigants to have 'another bite at the cherry'.
Striking the balance between giving closure and correcting mistakes is
not easy, and explains some of the complications that arise in the
Careful consideration must be given before an appeal is filed. In the
annual review back in 1989-1990, Lord Donaldson of Lymington MR said
the following when considering appeals made to the Court of Appeal:
"The question which the adviser may ask himself is whether, looking at
the matter objectively, there are sufficient grounds for believing not
only that the case should have been decided differently, but that in
all the circumstances it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the
Court of Appeal that there are grounds for reversing the judge's
findings. In considering this question the adviser must never forget
the financial risk which an appellant undertakes of having not only to
pay his own costs of the appeal, but those of his opponent and, for
this purpose, the adviser has two clients if the litigant is [publicly
funded]. Nor must he underrate the effect upon his client of the
emotional and other consequences of a continued state of uncertainty
pending an appeal. In a word, one of the most important duties of a
professionallegal adviser is to save his clients from themselves and
always to remember that, whilst it may well be reasonable to institute
or to defend particular proceedings at first instance, a wholly new and
different situation arises once the claim has been fully investigated
by the court and a decision given."
The basic civil appeals structure is governed by the Access
to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) Order 2000 (SI
2000/1071) (the Destination of Appeals Order), PD 52, para. 2A.1, and
the Appellate Jurisdiction Acts 1876 and 1887, and
(1) decisions of county court district judges may be appealed to the
county court circuit judge.
(2) decisions of High Court masters, district judges and registrars may
be appealed to a High Court judge.
(3) decisions of county court circuit judges may be appealed to a High
(4) decisions of High Court judges may be appealed to the Court of
(5) Court of Appeal decisions may be appealed to the House of Lords.
These basic routes of appeal also apply in relation to deputy judges
and their equivalents, such as recorders sitting as county court
circuit judges. Appeals from county court district judges (category (a)
above) are the simplest administratively, with the claim remaining
within the same court for the appeal, and simply being listed for the
appeal before the judge. Appeals to High Court judges (categories (b)
and (c)) may involve the appeal being heard in a new court. The Court
of Appeal is located at the Royal Courts of Justice and its
administrative office is known as the Civil Appeals Office.
Riyaz Jariwalla is a solicitor who specialises in
intellectual property law and commercial litigation.
About the Author
Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation,
commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We
are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-07-23 09:05:00 in Legal Articles