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The Criminal Appeals Act 2004 of Western Australia allows the Attorney General to refer a point of law which arose during the trial in the District Court or the Supreme Court to the Court of appeals for its opinion or resolution on the matter. The conditions upon which reference can be made are quite general in Western Australia compared to Queensland wherein the question of law must arise during a pre-trial direction or ruling.

On the reference, the court of appeal must hear the arguments by any person affected by the decision. The determination of the Court of Appeals regarding the point of law referred to it will not affect the acquittal or conviction of the accused even if the reference of a point of law emanated from a trial which acquitted or convicted the accused. The purpose of the reference granted to the Attorney General is to prevent the continued circulation of the erroneous interpretation or principle of the law.

In Western Australia, the Supreme Court or District Court judge may reserve a point of law for the consideration of the Full Court of the Supreme Court pursuant to the Supreme Court Act 1935 and of the Criminal Appeals Act 2004. The reference of a point of law is an alternative procedure to appeal that may be availed of by the aggrieved party though it has lost most of its significance upon the introduction of the general appeal processes.

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.

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