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 Offenders Act 2018.
Time requirements for leave to appeal
There is a time limit on appealing a decision in the Court of Appeal.
Different time limits apply depending on the type of decision you are appealing.
You must complete and file the documents needed to start your appeal within the time limit. In most cases, you have 42 days from the date of the decision. However, you have 28 days, from the date of the decision, to appeal against a decision about:
- an extension of time
- discovery , including preliminary discovery
- joinder, removal or substitution of a party
- amendment or strike out of pleadings
- summary dismissal
- summary judgment
- dismissing, or refusing to dismiss , a proceeding for want of prosecution
- security for costs
- the stay of part of a proceeding
- an injunction, freezing order or search order
- a stay of execution of a judgment
The 28-day time limit also applies to an appeal against a decision in an application under section 459G of the Corporations Act 2001. If the time limit has already passed, see Extension of time to appeal.
Applications must include the following documents filed together as a package via RedCrest:
- application for leave to appeal (Form 64A)
- written case
- list of authorities
- draft application book index
- draft summary
- order of the lower court
- reasons for judgment .
All applications for leave to appeal must comply with the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015, Practice Note SC CA 3 Civil Appeals, the Registrar's Note on the Preparation of a Written Case and the Registrar's note on the Preparation of Application Books.
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 s 14C. For further information please refer to Kennedy v Shire of Campaspe  VSCA 47 and Note Printing Australia Ltd v Leckenby  VSCA 105, which discuss the "real prospect of success" test.
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:
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.
If you are outside the appeal 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.
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 (First Revision) and Order 64 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rule 2015.
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 must be filed electronically via RedCrest. It is essential that you provide the Court with an e-mail address when filing an appeal .
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), you must fill out the Fee Waiver Application form. This must be submitted together with your documents when they are filed. Please contact the Court of Appeal registry for any clarification regarding Court fees.
Read our guide if you want to appeal a civil decision in the Court of Appeal and do not have a lawyer.
The guide has information on:
- what it means to represent yourself in a Court proceeding
- Court fees that apply
- stages in the process and what you do at each stage
- forms you need to complete
- documents you need to provide
- where to get more information and support.
Appeal a criminal decision made by a Supreme Court judge
If you are appealing a decision made by a Supreme Court judge in a criminal matter contact the Court of Appeal Registry for help on Court process.