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Court of Appeal Criminal Division

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 15 Feb 2017 |
Court Of Appeal Criminal Crown Court

Whether you’re appealing against your sentence or your conviction, you may be unsure as to the procedure in relation to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division. If leave to appeal has been refused by the single judge, you or your counsel will attend court in person to argue for leave in the ‘full court’. If leave is granted in court, it is possible then to go on to consider the appeal during the same hearing.

Who Can Address The Court?

There are only three classes of persons who may be ‘heard’ in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division: barristers, solicitors who have ‘higher rights’ of audience and appellants in person. Other solicitors do not have rights of audience in these cases. The court should be addressed as ‘My lords’ or ‘Your lordships.’ If you are addressing all the judges in court, call them ‘Your lordships.’ If one judge asks you a question, refer to him as ‘My lord.’

Procedure For Appeal Against Conviction

You will have ‘grounds’ for appealing your conviction which will have been advanced to the court beforehand. The appellant or the appellant’s lawyer stands up and introduces the appeal. The judges should have read all the papers in relation to the appeal in advance so there is no need to check this with them beforehand. It is normal when addressing the court of appeal that you will be interrupted by the judges, so be prepared to answer questions. The court may also give an indication in relation to the grounds of your appeal, so if a judge says that they do not think one of them has merit, be prepared to move onto your next ground.

The representative for the Crown may not say much during this process, although the court may ask for him or her to address certain grounds of the appellant’s appeal. After the Crown representative has done this, the appellant can reply to anything that the court or the crown has raised that the appellant has not already addressed.

Once the parties have addressed the court, and all questions have been answered, the court may do one of four things:

  • decide to dismiss the appeal
  • allow the appeal, and direct that the appellant is acquitted
  • allow the appeal, and substitute the conviction for a lesser charge (which must have been open to the trial jury, e.g. manslaughter instead of murder.)
  • allow the appeal and direct that there is a retrial

Procedure For Appeal Against Sentence

Again, the appellant introduces the appeal and tells the court details of the conviction, such as whether there was a trial, details of the offences and any aggravating and mitigating features. (Aggravating features make the offence more serious; mitigating features lessen the severity of the offence.) The appellant then may state the sentence that was imposed and why he or she seeks to persuade the court that this was incorrect, stating what the proper sentence should be and why. During this presentation, the appellant can also mitigate. After hearing all the submissions and asking questions where appropriate, the court can:

  • dismiss the appeal against sentence
  • allow the appeal, and substitute a different sentence to replace the one imposed by the Crown Court. In these circumstances the appellant or the appellant’s lawyer may ask the court to make a defendant’s costs order.

Appeals from The Court of Appeal

There is a limited right, after an appeal against conviction or sentence in the Court of Appeal, for further appeals to be taken to the House of Lords. However, these types of appeals are only for cases that are considered to have ‘general public importance’, and must be certified as such. These types of cases are rare and you will without question have a lawyer to assist you in relation to this process.

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I was sentenced for 27 months in prison for fraud by false presentation and I asked my lawyer to appeal against the sentence. Which he claimed to have done. Now my issue is that, this lawyer must have mugged me, and I not hundred percent that he submitted an appeal against the sentence. The paper work he provided didn't have anything on it except, no Logo or anything showing that it came from the court of appeal. It looked like he just typed it on a computer and then posted it. How can I check if he truly submitted an appeal for me. I would really appreciate any help you might offer. Thank you.
Dude - 15-Feb-17 @ 7:54 PM
If a District Judge ignored a PRECEDENT set within the House of Lords despite being offered the case law and valid documented evidence which he totally refused to look at taking it on himself to completely ignore the precedent by actually enforcing an order on a debt deemed as unenforceable by law, under s127[3] and65[1][a] CCA1974 Act, the alleged unenforceable debt being used to obtain Bankruptcy order against my husband by an incorrect Company using incorrect and false information on a Statutory Demand and having NO Security on our property at all, having deliberately and dishonestly stating that they would give up their security if a Bankruptcy order was granted,when they had absolutely no charge on our property at all as another Company was registered as having a charge by way of an ICO registered by way of a Restriction since MAY 06 but alleged debt disputed since June 06 awaiting valid documentation to be produced. Fraudulent Bankruptcy order obtained by incorrect Company using incorrect and false information in 2011.At the intervention of the FOS [Oct 2012] being 18 months after the fraudulent bankruptcy order had been obtained a Final Response Letter from the correct Company states themselves states that they have never held a valid agreement for the alleged debt but were reliant on a judgment obtained in 2005thru the NCCBC, as stated in their previous letter dated Oct 2011 they will once again contact the original owner of the debt for the valid documentation and forward upon receipt . CPR rules state that a valid agreement s still a pre-requisite of the Courts, allthis valid documentation was available at Court but the Judge refused to look at it . Thus enforcing an order on a debt deemed as unenforceable in law.WOULD THE ENFORCING OF THE ORDER COME WITHIN THE REMITS OF AN ERROR IN LAW/ VOID ORDER GIVING ME A RIGHT TO AN AUTOMATIC APPEAL ????
junkimunki - 18-Nov-16 @ 6:50 PM
My boyfriend was found guilty of sexual assault for apparentley touching a friends leg on top of clothes . He got 6 months and will serve 3 . Because she was classed as a vunerable person . All a waste of court time etc from our point . And no way should be ever of been sentenced to prison for this offence . His solicitor has currently put in court papers to crown court for appeal of sentence . How long will this process take before he gets a date ?? He has served nearly half of his sentence with 5 weeks left . The solicitor has been telling us for weeks should be released by end of week , yet we still have had no court date :/ . And are still waiting . Any help or advice you could suggest . My partner is suicidal and can't cope . And this effecting me on the outside . I feel helpless . Thanks Jane
Jane - 30-Jun-16 @ 8:21 AM
My son had no choice when he attended crown court because he only witness was threatened not to go to court so my sons barrister told him you go to trail you are going to get going guilty you get 7 years you plead guilty to two guilty to affect plead guilty to a weapon you get 2 years but my son said I didn't have a weapon a lass who was my sons co accused whom he didn't know went inside her nannas house and got a knife she said she gave this to my son which he said there was no knife and she said this at her first hearing and she admitted she didn't know my son plus my son said I'm not saying guilty to affect coz it was a scuffle inside the car that's all it was but coz my son has previous weapons on his record the prosecution made a meal out of this bearing in mind my son has no convictions for using any weapons or no convictions for any violoncello at all they still give him 2 and half years prison his bRrister didn't tell the courts none of this that's why I think my son logshould have a lesser sentence if the truth was heard but it's a very long story he would not be in prison now and he shouldn't be there but if I appeal I'm scared he could get a longer sentence it's not fair wen someone goes to prison coz of people's lies
Sherpm - 25-Mar-16 @ 5:39 AM
What does division 036 mean or stand for
tash - 24-Sep-15 @ 1:16 PM
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