The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to determine certain appeals. These include appeals from the Court's own Associate Judges and Judges. It is also empowered to determine appeals from other Courts and Tribunals, in certain circumstances.
Appeals from a decision of an Associate Judge
A party can appeal to a Judge in the Trial Division against a decision made by an Associate Judge. There is a very limited time period for bringing such appeals. An appeal from an Associate Judge's decision is normally heard by the Judge in the Practice Court. However, when it is anticipated that the appeal will require more than two hours of Court time, it will normally be referred to the Listing Master who will list the appeal before another judge.
Appeals from an Associate Judge are treated as a fresh hearing of the evidence and not as a review of the Associate Judge's decision or reasoning. For that reason it is not normally necessary to provide new affidavit material in support of the appeal.
Appeals from an Associate Judge's decision are commenced by a notice of appeal. There is no prescribed form but the general requirements of Order 27 of Chapter I should be observed. The content of the notice should provide for a return time and date, before a Judge in the Practice Court at 210 William Street, Melbourne. There is no fee on this application.
Appeals from a decision of a Judge (Order 64)
Appeals from decisions of a Judge must be determined by the Court of Appeal. This applies regardless of whether the decision was made in the County Court or by one of the three Judges at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
In some cases, the Court of Appeal must first give permission ('leave') to appeal. For advice about appeal processes to the Court of Appeal, contact the Court of Appeal Registry.
Appeals from the Magistrates' Court (Order 58)
Most appeals from the Magistrates' Court in relation to criminal proceedings are heard by the County Court. In particular circumstances, such as where the appellant claims the Magistrate has erred in law, an appeal can be brought to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court.
There is no right of appeal to the County Court from a civil proceeding in the Magistrates' Court. Any such appeal must come to the Supreme Court, and must be based on an alleged error in law (Order 56).
Such appeals are commenced by affidavit and heard in the first instance by a Master. These appeals are commenced by filing an affidavit, and the application is made without notice to the respondent. If the Master finds that there are grounds for an appeal, the Master will set out the questions that the hearing of the appeal should answer, give directions and refer the matter to a Judge for determination.
Appeals from the Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) (Chapter II Order 4)
Leave must be obtained from the Court prior to commencing an appeal from VCAT. If leave is granted, a notice of appeal must then be filed.
Most applications for leave to appeal from VCAT are heard in the first instance by a Master. These applications are commenced by filing an originating motion. A summons and affidavit must also be filed within a prescribed time. Notice of the application must be given to the respondents, as well as to the Registrar of VCAT. If the Master finds that there are proper grounds for an appeal, the Master will set out the questions that the hearing of the appeal should answer, give directions and refer the matter to a Judge for determination.
Where the VCAT Order was made by the Tribunal President, or by a Vice-President, any application for leave to appeal must be made directly to the Court of Appeal. This is because the President is a Supreme Court Judge and the Vice-Presidents are County Court Judges. These applications are commenced by summons and supported by affidavit. Notice of the application must be given to the respondents, as well as to the Registrar of VCAT.
Where the VCAT Order was not made by the President or a Vice-President but was made in Tribunal's Land Valuation List or its Planning and Environment List, any application for leave to appeal is made directly to the Judge-in-Charge of the Valuation, Compensation and Planning List. These applications are commenced by filing an originating motion. A summons and affidavit must also be filed within a prescribed time. Notice of the application must be given to the respondents, as well as to the Registrar of VCAT.