You can appeal a criminal decision in the Court of Appeal if the appeal is: 

  • by a person who has been convicted and sentenced in the County Court or Supreme Court, and they want to appeal against the conviction, sentence or both. You need the Court’s permission to have these appeals heard. This is called leave to appeal
  • by the Director of Public Prosecutions against a sentence imposed in the County Court or Supreme Court. These are also called Crown appeals. They do not need leave to appeal. 
  • by any party against some interlocutory decisions made by a trial judge during a criminal proceeding in the County Court or Supreme Court. These all need leave to appeal. You must have first made an application to the trial judge for them to certify the interlocutory appeal. 

Time limits

There are time limits on starting an appeal in the Court of Appeal. 

For an appeal against a conviction or sentence, you have 28 days from the date of the sentence to start your appeal. 

For an interlocutory appeal, different time limits apply depending on the stage of the proceeding and whether or not the trial judge has certified the interlocutory appeal. The time limits are in sections 296(2) and 298(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009

If you are outside the time limit, you must apply for an extension of time.  For more information see extension of time

Get to know Court procedures

See below for general information about starting a criminal proceeding in the Court of Appeal. For specific requirements and detailed information see: 

Important to note: if an appeal against a sentence is allowed, the Court of Appeal may reduce or increase the sentence. 

Appeal by a convicted person against the conviction – no previous appeal against conviction

To apply for leave to appeal against your conviction (if you have not previously appealed against your conviction to the Court of Appeal), you file: 

These documents must be filed no later than 28 days after the sentence date. If 28 days has already passed, you must apply for an extension of time

After the Court registry accepts your documents for filing, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal will serve them on the respondent

More information: 

Appeal by a convicted person against the conviction – Second or subsequent appeal

If you have previously appealed against your conviction to the Court of Appeal, you may be able to make a further appeal if you have fresh and compelling evidence that should, in the interests of justice, be considered on an appeal. Section 326C of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 specifies when evidence is ‘fresh’ and ‘compelling’. To apply for leave to appeal you file: 

After the Court registry accepts your documents for filing, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal will serve them on the respondent. 

More information: 

Appeal by a convicted person against the sentence

To apply for leave to appeal against your sentence, you file: 

These documents must be filed no later than 28 days after the sentence date. If 28 days has already passed, you must apply for an extension of time

After the Court registry accepts your documents for filing, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal will serve them on the respondent. 

Important to note: if an appeal against a sentence is allowed, the Court of Appeal may reduce or increase the sentence. 

More information: 

Appeal by Director of Public Prosecutions against sentence (Crown appeal) 

For the Director of Public Prosecutions to start an appeal, the Director must file: 

  • Notice of appeal (including the grounds of appeal) 
  • Written case of no more than 10 pages 
  • List of authorities and materials relied on to support the appeal (see Annexure 3 of Practice Note SC CA 1, Criminal appeals). 

These documents must be filed no later than 28 days after the sentence date. If 28 days has already passed, the Director must apply for an extension of time

After the Court registry accepts the documents for filing, the Crown must serve them on the respondent. 

Important to note: if an appeal against a sentence is allowed, the Court of Appeal may reduce or increase the sentence.  

More information: 

Interlocutory appeals in criminal matters

Before applying for leave to appeal against an interlocutory decision made by a trial judge, you must have first applied to that judge for them to certify the interlocutory appeal. This means asking the trial judge to approve the interlocutory appeal as being appropriate in accordance with section 295(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009

If the trial judge has certified the interlocutory appeal, to apply to the Court of Appeal you file: 

If the trial judge has refused to certify the interlocutory appeal, to apply to the Court of Appeal you file: 

There are different time limits for filing these documents. The time limits depend on the stage of the proceeding and whether or not the trial judge has certified the interlocutory appeal. Time limits are in sections 296(2) and 298(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009. If the time limit has already passed, you must apply for an extension of time

After the Court registry accepts your documents for filing, you must serve them on the respondent. 

More information: 

Extension of time

If you are applying outside the time limit you must apply for an extension of time. 

In addition to the application for leave to appeal and other documents identified above, you must file: 

After the Court registry accepts your documents for filing, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal will serve them on the respondent.