Can be made either against the conviction or against the sentence
– The prosecution can appeal against the leniency of the sentence but generally cannot appeal against an acquittal
– The process is important as it allows higher courts to supervise the discretion of magistrates and judges when they are making sentencing decision.
– R v Jurisic (1998)
- Appeals are technical questions of law not heard by a jury.
- Defendants can appeal on the grounds of:
- An error of law (for example, false evidence, perjury in the trial, tainted evidence)
- The sentence/punishment was too severe
- The prosecution has no right to appeal an acquittal but can appeal on the basis that a sentence is not harsh enough.
- The Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment Act 2006 (NSW) was made to change that in the case of a very serious crime, an acquittal can be quashed if there is fresh evidence or the acquittal was tainted.
- The appeal court considers:
- If the court had the power to impose the particular sentence
- Any errors of fact or law in imposing the sentence
- The appeal court will only interfere if there has been a clear error, such as:
- Considering irrelevant facts
- Not considering relevant facts
- Incorrectly directing the jury
Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.