Appeals to the ACT Court of Appeal

Rules concerning appeals to the ACT Court of Appeal are contained in volume 3, chapter 5, part 5.4 of the Court Procedures Rules 2006 (to ACT Legislation Website).

Guidelines for Conducting Appeals to the ACT Court of Appeal

The following guidelines have been prepared to assist with filing a Notice of Appeal.

On filing the Notice of Appeal

Upon filing your Notice of Appeal (Form 5.11), you will receive back two or more sealed copies.  A sealed copy must then be served personally on each respondent within 7 days of the date of filing (see rule 5409 of the Court Procedures Rules 2006, volume 3).

At the time of filing your Notice of Appeal, a date will be appointed for settling the appeal index (see the last page of your Notice of Appeal). The procedure for settling the appeal index is described below in Practice Direction No. 1 of 2016.

The orders sought by your Notice of Appeal must be orders that the Court of Appeal is able to make. The grounds of appeal must support your application for those orders.

You are, of course, entitled to represent yourself in court proceedings.  However, the law in relation to appeals is not simple and it may be in your interests to obtain legal advice as to whether the orders you seek by your Notice of Appeal and the grounds upon which you rely are valid.

Please note that court staff may not provide you with legal advice.

You may, at any time up to the settling of the appeal index, file and serve an Amended Notice of Appeal. All amendments in an Amended Notice of Appeal must be underlined in red.

Ordering the transcript 

In most cases you will need to order a copy of the transcript of the hearing/sentencing in the Supreme Court. This is usually required in putting together your Appeal Book.  It is possible in some circumstances to order a portion of the transcript (called an extract) if, for example, your
appeal related only to the sentence given in a criminal matter, and not to the conviction.  In such a case, it may be possible to order just that part of the transcript relating to the sentence.

As you are the appellant, the ordering of the transcript and the cost of obtaining the transcript is your responsibility.  You can obtain a Transcript Order Form from the front counter at the Magistrates Court.  You must file a copy of the transcript prior to the date for settling
of appeal papers (see rule 5430, volume 3 of the Court Procedures Rules 2006).

Also see rule 5430 for other documents which must be filed prior to the date for the settling of the appeal papers.

Appeal Folders

Practice Direction No. 1 of 2016 sets out the practice to be followed with respect to the filing of documents and appeal papers in the Court of Appeal.

Settling the draft Appeal Index

At the date for the settling of the Appeal Index each party (or his/her legal representative) meets with the Registrar/Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court to timetable the matter and determine what documents should be included in the Appeal Folders.

At least 5 days before this date, you should have filed and served on each respondent a copy of your draft appeal index of the appeal papers that are to be included in Appeal Folder A.

If all the papers are in order, a direction will be made to list the matter in the next callover so a date can be allocated for the hearing of the appeal.  Directions will also be made concerning the filing and serving of Appeal Folders and the number of Books required.  Appeal Folder A must be filed prior to the callover

Costs (civil appeals) 

You should be aware of the possibility of costs orders being made against you in the event that your appeal is dismissed, or if you cause the other party to incur additional costs through your delay or non compliance with directions of the Court.

Should you wish to discontinue your appeal after the Notice of Appeal has been served on the other party, then, unless the other party consents to the discontinuance on the basis that each party pays its own costs, then you may be liable for the other party’s legal costs incurred up to the date of discontinuance.

Litigants should also refer to the relevant Rules in Part 5.4 of the Court Procedures Rules 2006, volume 3.