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Judgment

The result of the appeal is called the judgment. The Court of Appeal can give its judgment on the day of your appeal, or if the judges need more time to think about all the arguments, a judgment will be given on a later date. That is called a ‘reserved judgment’. Most decisions are reserved, so it is unlikely you will get a decision on the day you go to court. A judgment can be reserved for days, weeks, or even months.

If you are not in prison, you may attend court the day your reserved judgment is delivered. If you are in prison, you will not be brought to court to receive the judgment. You will be sent a copy of the court’s order.

You can find out what time the judgment will be delivered by checking the Daily Law List on the Queensland Courts website (www.courts.qld.gov.au/daily-law-lists) or in the The Courier-Mail on the day the judgment is being handed down (usually Tuesdays and Fridays). Judgments are usually published on the courts website on the same day they are handed down. You will be given a copy of the judgment.

What happens if my appeal is successful?

If your conviction appeal is successful, you may be acquitted or you may need to have a retrial in the District or Supreme Court. If you are given a retrial by the court, you are not automatically released on bail, but can apply to the District or Supreme Court for bail. Get legal advice.

If you are successful in your sentence appeal, your sentence may be reduced.

Can the court increase my sentence?

If the court is thinking about increasing your sentence, they must let you know during the appeal hearing and give you an opportunity to abandon the appeal.

If you abandon the appeal, your sentence stays the same as it was before you appealed. See What if I want to abandon (stop) my appeal? for information on how to abandon your appeal.

Your sentence may be increased if the Attorney-General successfully appeals your sentence.

What if I have applied for parole?

If you are in custody and have a fixed date for parole release or a partially suspended sentence, an appeal will not affect your release date.

If you have an eligibility date for parole, you cannot apply for parole until a decision has been made about your appeal.

If you are not sure whether your parole date is a release date or an eligibility date, ask Sentence Management at the prison.

What if my appeal is unsuccessful?

If you lose your appeal to the Court of Appeal, you might be able to appeal to the High Court of Australia.

The High Court very rarely hears appeals against sentence.

If you want to apply for legal aid to consider if there is merit in a High Court appeal, get legal advice first. You will need to fill in a new Legal Aid Queensland application form.

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