How Do I Lodge A Supreme Court Appeal?

If you have been convicted or pleaded guilty and been sentenced by a Supreme Court or District Court judge, you may lodged a Supreme Court appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

A successful Supreme Court Appeal to the Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) can result in a guilty verdict being quashed resulting in an acquittal, or it may result in a reduction in the sentence.

There are three main types of Supreme Court appeals:

Severity appeal: Where the severity of the sentence is appealed; or

Conviction appeal: Where the guilty verdict by the Jury or Judge is appealed.

All grounds appeal: Where you appeal both the severity of the sentence and conviction appeal.

How Soon Do I Lodge A Supreme Court Appeal?

You have within 28-days from the day of conviction or sentence to lodge:

  1. A Notice of Intention to Appeal; or
  2. A Notice of Intention to apply for Leave to Appeal

This 28-day period can be extended by the court if it’s considered to be in the interest of justice.

In a Supreme Court Appeal, the CCA court can allow you to introduce fresh evidence if it was always available in the original court but not used, in the following circumstances:

  • If appealing a guilty verdict (conviction appeal) in the CCA Court, a conviction can be quashed if the CCA Court concludes that the absence of the fresh evidence in the original court resulted in a miscarriage of justice. Fresh evidence can be accepted by the CCA Court if it is credible, was not available at the trial after taking reasonable diligence in preparing for trial, and where it can be said that if it was available for the jury to consider, the jury would likely entertain a reasonable doubt as to your guilt or a significant possibility that the jury acting reasonably would return a not guilty verdict.
  • If appealing the severity of the sentence in the CCA Court, the CCA Court may allow the fresh evidence if it’s of enough significance that the Judge who originally imposed the sentence would have possibly regarded it as carrying a real bearing on the sentence, and if you either didn’t know about it, or you didn’t realise the significance of it in circumstances your lawyer(s) didn’t know it existed at the time.

For instances of appealing the severity of a sentence from the District to the Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) in NSW, you will generally not be allowed to introduce new evidence if the new evidence could have been used in the lower court you were sentenced in.

However with Supreme Court Appeals, the CCA court can take into account any new evidence of events that have taken place after the original sentence, including evidence of the progress of rehabilitation since the original sentence, and any assistance an offender has provided to police or authorities after the original sentence. These things can reduce the original sentence on an appeal. (Betts v The Queen (2016)).

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  • Where you were suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offence (mental illness)
  • Where your conduct was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where someone threatened or coerced you into committing fraud (duress)

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