Criminal Appeals

Under section 60D(a) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, the Court of Appeal is empowered to hear appeals against any decision made by the General Division of the High Court (“General Division”) in the exercise of its original criminal jurisdiction. There is no appeal to the Court of Appeal from decisions made by the General Division in its appellate or revisionary jurisdiction. In other words, there is no appeal from the order made by the General Division in a Magistrate’s Appeal or Criminal Revision.

The procedure for  filing a Criminal Appeal to the Court of Appeal is set out in sections 377 and 378 of the Criminal Procedure Code (“CPC”).

The party who wishes to appeal must file with the Registrar of the Supreme Court a Notice of Appeal within 14 days after the date of the General Division’s decision (section 377(2) of the CPC). As soon as possible after that is done, the Registrar will serve on the appellant or his counsel a notice that the record of proceedings of the hearing in the General Division is available. The appellant must then file his Petition of Appeal with the Registrar within 14 days after service of that notice (section 378(1) of the CPC).

Upon the filing of the Petition of Appeal by the Appellant, the appeal will be fixed for hearing and the following documents must be filed by parties to the appeal before the hearing:

  • Skeletal Arguments
  • Bundle of Authorities

Under section 374(4) of the CPC, an accused who is convicted by the General Division may appeal against his conviction, the sentence imposed on him or an order of the trial court. If, however, he pleaded guilty in the General Division, he may only appeal against the extent or legality of his sentence (section 375 of the CPC).

The Public Prosecutor may appeal against the acquittal of an accused or the sentence imposed or any other order of the General Division (section 374(3) of the CPC).

Criminal Appeals are held in open court and may be attended by members of the public.