What are the Grounds for Appeal?

The Crown Court re-hear a case and so they look at the entire matter afresh. For this reason your Grounds are generally that the decision was contrary to the weight of evidence, though it is appropriate to be as specific as possible in order to assist the Court.

In the Court of Appeal, it is more rigid. To establish that a sentence is wrong, you need to establish that it is ‘manifestly excessive.” This is difficult to define but certainly means that the sentence has to be way off the mark, bearing in mind the Judges in the Crown Court are supplied with ‘Sentencing Guidelines.’

In the case of Conviction, as a jury heard the case in the Crown Court, the Appeal Court will only interfere in exceptional circumstances. There are two particular headings. One is where there has been some irregularity or defect in the original proceedings. By way of example, this might occur where the Judge’s summing up was clearly unfair or biased. The other heading is fresh evidence. This does not mean evidence that was available but was purposely not used, but evidence which has only come to light after the trial was concluded. The Court of Appeal may hear new evidence that was not adduced at the original proceedings if it appears capable of belief; it may afford any ground for allowing the Appeal; it would have been admissible; it is an issue which is the subject of the Appeal, and finally, there is reasonable explanation for the failure to adduce it.

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