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This note relates to the preparation of a written case for civil proceedings in the Court of Appeal.

This note is published under r 64.24 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015. It contains information and requirements relating to the preparation of a written case for civil proceedings in the Court of Appeal.

The purpose of a written case is to give the Court enough information to quickly understand the case you are making. It must:

  • contain your arguments for each ground of appeal and, if applicable, each question of law (the grounds of appeal and questions of law are set out in Form 64A)
  • meet the length and formatting requirements set out below.

The information below on the preparation of a written case is provided for general guidance.

See the Registrar's note on the preparation of a written case document attached at the bottom of this page. It contains the official instructions you must follow when preparing a written case.  

When to file a written case

A written case must be filed: 

  • at the same time as filing a leave application or notice of contention; and 
  • when responding to a leave application or notice of contention, if you are opposing the application.

What to put in a written case

Your proposed grounds of appeal (the legal reasons why you say the decision you are appealing is wrong) are set out in Form 64A (the application for leave to appeal). In the form, the grounds must: 

  • be numbered consecutively
  • where there are multiple claims of the same error (for example, findings not supported by the evidence), be expressed as a single ground with sub-grounds for each instance you claim has occurred, and 
  • precisely identify each error or error of law you are claiming has occurred. 

The arguments in support of each ground are contained in the written case.

A written case enables the Court and Registrar to quickly grasp the facts, issues and contentions in a case. Give each ground of appeal a heading, and then give the arguments that support it. Do this for each ground of appeal.

Make sure your arguments are clear, concise and specific.  They must clearly identify the issues, evidence and matters you will rely on. You must explain how you believe the judge wrongly applied the law or legal principles in your case, and how you believe that led the judge to make a wrong decision.

Written case checklist

  • Include a heading for each ground of appeal.
  • Under each heading, concisely outline each argument made in relation to the ground.
  • Include references to any authorities you have relied on. 
  • Include precise transcript references for any transcript you have relied on.
  • Clearly identify any document you have referred to. 

How to format a written case

Unless the Registrar gives permission otherwise, a written case must be an A4 document and if it relates to a:

  • leave application, it must be no longer than 10 pages.
  • notice of contention, it must be no longer than 5 pages.

All written cases must:

  • be typed in a clear and readable font (for example, Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Book Antiqua)
  • use 12 point font size for body text and at least 10 point for footnotes
  • use 1.5 line spacing for the body text
  • have 3 cm margins 
  • be filed in PDF (not as a scan or photo) in a format that enables text to be searched and copied
  • include the name of the person signing it, typed directly below their signature.
  • be signed by:

o    counsel, or
o    the party’s lawyer, or
o    the party, if the person is representing themselves

Applicants – Documents to file and serve at the same time as the written case

At the same time as filing and serving their written case, an applicant must file and serve (together with any other required documents) a: 

Respondent – Documents to file and serve at the same time as the written case

A respondent must, at the same time as filing and serving their written case, file and serve a: 

  • list of authorities, which complies with section 11 of Practice Note SC CA 3, Civil appeals; and 
  • copy of the applicant’s draft application book index, with any changes the respondent proposes to the index clearly marked up in it (additions underlined and deletions struck through). 

A respondent must also, at the same time as serving their written case, notify the applicant of any proposed changes to the applicant’s version of the draft summary for the Court of Appeal. The respondent is not required to inform the Court of those proposed changes unless directed to do so. 

Agreeing on the summary

It is expected that: 

  • the parties will work co-operatively to agree on a summary, so the applicant can file it within 10 days of receiving the respondent’s proposed changes (or at another time as directed by the Registrar); and 
  • the applicant will inform the Registrar if the parties cannot agree on the summary, only after the parties have made every effort to reach agreement. 

More information

Read more about the preparation of a written case in:

Supreme Court of Victoria
Supreme Court of Victoria
Date of publication