Criminal Appeals

Under section 29A(2) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, the Court of Appeal is empowered to hear appeals against any decision made by the High Court in the exercise of its original criminal jurisdiction. There is no appeal to the Court of Appeal from decisions made by the High Court in its appellate or revisionary jurisdiction. In other words, there is no appeal from the order made by the High Court in a Magistrate’s Appeal or Criminal Revision.

The provisions relating to the filing of a Criminal Appeal to the Court of Appeal are set out in sections 374 to 378 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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 High Court’s decision (section 377(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code). 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 High Court 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 Criminal Procedure Code).

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 Criminal Procedure Code, an accused who is convicted by the High Court may appeal against his conviction, the sentence imposed on him or an order of the trial court. If, however, he pleaded guilty in the High Court, he may only appeal against the extent or legality of his sentence (section 375 of the Criminal Procedure Code). 

The Public Prosecutor may appeal against the acquittal of an accused or the sentence imposed or any other order of the High Court (section 374(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code).

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

The decision of the Court of Appeal in a Criminal Appeal is final, and there is no further recourse for the appellant in a court of law. He may, however, file a . Petition for Clemency to the President of Singapore (Article 22P of the Constitution of Singapore). 

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