Appeal against conviction
Generally only by the
defendant if he/she is found
guilty (but the Prosecution can
appeal a Not Guilty verdict for
serious crimes in some
Appeal against sentence
… by the defendant if the sentence
is too severe. R v Scaf – sentence
reduced from 55 years to 28 years.
… by the prosecution if the sentence
is too lenient (light/soft). R v
AEM;KEM;MM (2002) – aggravated
sexual assault in company (“gang
rape”) case  sentenced doubled
The defendant has to be given special leave
(permission) to appeal to the High Court. There
usually has to be an important question of
justice or public importance to be able to appeal
to the High Court (only 6% of cases that apply
are actually allowed to appeal).
There usually has to be a
question of law (e.g. if evidence
was allowed by the judge in the
original trial that shouldn’t have
been) in order to appeal to the
Supreme Court and Court of
Criminal Appeal
There is an automatic right of
appeal (for most cases) from the
Local Court to the District Court
(the Crimes (Appeal and Review)
Act 2001)
The ‘Double Jeopardy’ rule…
This is the old rule that you can’t be tried twice for
the same crime.
So only the defendant has been able to appeal if he’s
found guilty (the Prosecution only had one shot).
But since the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment (Double
Jeopardy) Act 2006 was passed, a defendant found Not Guilty of a
serious crime CAN be put on trial again if there is new evidence (or if
there’s evidence of jury tampering).
In R v Leung (2009, 2011 and 2013), the defendant was put on trial
THREE TIMES for the SAME CRIME. He was found Not Guilty the first
two times, but then they eventually got him.
But this might all change…
In 2013, the NSW Law Reform Commission was given the job of
investigating our laws dealing with criminal appeals.
The government wants all the random little bits of law to be put into a
single Act.
Their report (Criminal Appeals) probably won’t be released until the
end of 2014 (but keep checking the facebook page to see if there are
any releases of ‘discussion papers’ or major submissions from the

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