On this page:
Hearing date of the appeal
From the time you file your 'Notice of appeal', it may take several months before you get a hearing date in the Court of Appeal. This is because it takes some time for the Court of Appeal Registry to obtain the transcript of your trial or sentence and all the exhibits and there may be many other appeals waiting to be heard.
The Registrar will allocate you a date for the appeal hearing. You will be notified in writing of the date.
If you have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, you will not automatically receive bail before your appeal hearing. Appeal bail is granted only in exceptional circumstances. For example, if you received a short term of imprisonment and all or most of it would be served before the appeal hearing, you might be granted bail.
If you do not have bail, you may write to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal to ask for an early hearing date.
If you want to apply for bail, see a prison duty lawyer or the Prisoners' Legal Service or sentence management about bail. They may be able to supply you with the Bail by Mail kit.
Appeal record book
The full transcript of the previous hearing, the judge's summing up and sentencing remarks as well as copies of exhibits are compiled in a record book. The appeal record book will be sent to you when it becomes available. If you are representing yourself, you do not have to pay for the record book.
The appeal will generally be argued on the basis of the evidence which was before the sentence or trial court. Remember, your appeal is not another opportunity for you to hold another trial or sentence hearing.
The appeal record book may not contain all the items or documents which were tendered to the sentencing judge. If you wish to refer to something that was handed up on your behalf to the sentencing judge, for example, references, you may request that the registry include a copy in the record book. If you wish to rely on an exhibit, which is non-documentary, you may ask the registry to have it present in court on the day of the appeal.
Submissions of argument
The Court of Appeal requires reasons in writing as to why your appeal should be granted . A sample of the 'Submission of argument' form can be found in this kit. Write the reasons for your appeal under the different headings contained in the 'Submission of argument' form. It is very important that you put all your reasons in writing, as the Court of Appeal judges will read and consider your reasons before the day of appeal.
On the day of the appeal, the Judges will probably not want you to re-argue what you have already put in writing. They will simply want to ask you questions to clear up any misunderstandings or discrepancies. This is why it is so important to argue fully in writing and lodge your arguments before the day of the appeal.
You may wish to include case authorities (precedents) in your 'Submission of argument'. Generally, the Court of Appeal will only consider its own or other Appeal Court decisions. Appeal case authorities may be found in University law libraries and the Supreme Court library in Brisbane.
You will need to make 6 copies of your 'Submission of argument' and any case precedents you are relying on. You must supply the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Office with a copy of your 'Submission of argument', and 5 copies to the Court of Appeal Registry.
The court must receive the 'Submissions of argument' 14 days before the appeal hearing date for appeals against sentence, and within 21 days after receipt of the Appeal record book for appeals against convictions.
When writing your submission, refer to the materials in the appeal record book. Ordinarily, the Court will not receive new material. Once you have finished your sumission, send it to the Court of Appeal Registry.
Before the day of the appeal, you should receive the prosecutor's written reasons why your conviction or sentence should remain as it is. It is a good idea to read the prosecutor's submission of argument and try to think of reasons why the Court of Appeal should disagree with the Prosecutor. You may have to give these further reasons to the Court in person when you appear before them.You do not need to put in a written reply to the prosecutor's reasons.
On the day of your appeal, you can tell the Court of Appeal anything you think of that was not put in your written submission of arguments.