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Civil Appeals

The Court of Appeal may hear an appeal against civil judgments made by the County Court and Supreme Court. The Court may also hear appeals against civil judgments made by the President or Vice-President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). 

Since 2014, nearly all matters require leave to appeal, whether from a final or interlocutory order. Among the very few cases that have a direct right of appeal are:

  • Appeals against a refusal to grant habeas corpus
  • Appeals under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.

Time requirements for leave to appeal

All applications for leave to appeal must be filed within 28 days of the date of judgment.  

Documents to be filed

Applications must include the following documents filed together as a package, preferably via email as separate searchable PDF formatted documents:

All applications for leave to appeal must comply with the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015, Practice Note SC CA 3 Civil Appeals and the Registrar's Notes.

Your application must also address, under section 5 of the application form, why there is a "real prospect of success" sufficient to justify the Court's exercise of discretion in your favour. This is set out in the Supreme Court Act 1986 (External link) s 14C. For further information please refer to Kennedy v Shire of Campaspe [2015] VSCA 47 (External link) and Note Printing Australia Ltd v Leckenby [2015] VSCA 105 (External link), which discuss the "real prospect of success" test. 

All documents filed at the Court of Appeal must contain a signature block which clearly shows the solicitor's name, firm and e-mail address. The written case document must also be signed by the author of the document.

Standard Authorities

The Court will automatically regard standard authorities on statutory interpretation and the construction of commercial contracts as being relied upon by all parties. The following authorities should not be reproduced in the combined folder:

Statutory interpretation

Byrne v Australian Airlines Ltd (1995) 185 CLR 410;

Project Blue Sky Inc v Australian Broadcasting Authority (1998) 194 CLR 355;

Thiess v Collector of Customs (2014) 250 CLR 664;

Federal Commissioner of Taxation v Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd (2012) 250 CLR 503; and

Bare v Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (2015) 326 ALR 198.

Construction of commercial contracts

BP Refinery (Westernport) Pty Ltd v Hastings Shire Council (1977) 180 CLR 266;

Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority (NSW) (1982) 149 CLR 337;

Burger King Corporation v Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd (2001) 69 NSWLR 558;

Toll (FGCT) Pty Ltd v Alphapharm Pty Ltd (2004) 219 CLR 165;

Alcan (NT) Alumina Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Territory Revenue (2009) 239 CLR 27;

Electricity Generation Corporation v Woodside Energy Ltd (2014) 251 CLR 640; and

Mount Bruce Mining Pty Ltd v Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd (2015) 256 CLR 104.

Applications for an extension of time to file an appeal or a stay of the lower Court's order

If you are outside the 28 day time period you must apply for an extension of time to file a leave to appeal application. All applications for an extension of time must be made using form 64B and must include a supporting affidavit and written submissions.

For a trial period of 12 months from 1 May 2017, the Court will automatically grant all applications, other than those concerning interlocutory decisions, for an extension of no more than 14 days to the time to file an application for leave to appeal or notice of appeal. Applications seeking an extension of 14 days or less will not require a supporting affidavit or submissions. Please see the Notice to the Profession regarding applications for extension of time.

Filing an application for leave to appeal does not automatically provide a stay of the lower court's order. If you wish to make an application to stay the lower court's order, this again must be made in a separate application using form 64B with a supporting affidavit and submissions.

Both a stay and an extension of time application attract a separate application fee.

These applications must be included with the full application for leave package of documents listed above, particularly if the applicant is seeking urgent or expedited consideration of a stay application.

The provisions regarding applications other than for leave are set out in Practice Note SC CA 3 Civil Appeals and Order 64 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rule 2015.

Filing of documents and payment of Court fees

Once your application package is lodged, it will be reviewed by a Registry Lawyer before being accepted for filing. This process may take up to 24 hours. You must not serve your documents until directed to do so. This will occur at the same time you are notified the application has been accepted for filing.

All documents can be filed via e-mail at coaregistry@supcourt.vic.gov.au. It is essential that you provide the Court with an e-mail address when filing an appeal.

Any fees can be paid at our front counter via cash, bank cheque, money order, EFTPOS, or credit card. Bank cheques and money orders can also be sent via mail and credit card payments can be made over the telephone.  

Are you representing yourself? 

If you wish to represent yourself in an appeal or application please carefully read the Court of Appeal - Self Represented Litigants Information Pack.

You may wish to fill out the Authority to Contact the Duty Barristers Scheme form, to apply for pro bono legal assistance from the Victorian Bar.

If you wish to make an application to have your Court fee waived by reason of financial hardship (under section 129 of the Supreme Court Act 1986 (External link)), you must fill out the Fee Waiver Application form.  This must be attached to your documents when they are filed. Please contact the Court of Appeal registry for any clarification regarding Court fees.

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