The Appeal Process in WA
In Western Australia, decisions penned by the magistrate court in a case it heard is appealed to the Supreme Court and then the aggrieved party may further appeal the decision of the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals is composed of a Chief Justice, the president and the judges of the appeals. The appeal from the lower court in any case involving indictable offences may be against the decision to convict the accused, erroneous sentence, harsh penalties or errors in the interpretation of laws or against any order made subsequent to the conviction. The prosecution on the other hand is granted a general right of appeal against the sentence imposed by the court but has limited right to appeal other matters.
When the appeal emanated from the District Court or the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeals, the latter will be constituted by two judges for sentencing matters. If the case does not involve pronouncement of the sentence, the Court of Appeals will be constituted in an uneven number of judges which is not less than three.
The decision imposed by the Court of Appeals in the appealed case is based on the opinion of the majority of the judges of appeals being present during the deliberation and the opinion of the most senior judge will apply in case the court is constituted by more than three judges who are divided in their opinion. If the court was constituted by two judges of appeals who are divided in their opinion, the case will be reheard after the aggrieved party sent a notice within one month from receipt of the judgment asking for a rehearing of the case.
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Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.