Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Appeal. In its most general sense an appeal is a proceeding taken to rectify or revise a supposed erroneous decision of a Court by submitting the question to a higher Court, hence termed the Court of Appeal. The term, therefore, includes, in addition to proceedings specifically so-called, the "cases" stated for the opinion of the Queen's Bench Division, the Court for Crown Cases' Reserved, etc;, under various statutes and proceedings in error.

In the Supreme Court of Judicature every appeal from a judgment or order of the High Court to the Court of Appeal is brought on by a single motion in the Court of Appeal asking that the judgment or order complained of may be reversed, discharged, or varied. In the Common Law Divisions an appeal lies from the Judge in Chambers to the Divisional Court, and thence to the Court of Appeal, while in the Chancery Division the Judge in Chambers may either direct the matter to be argued before him in Court (after which an appeal lies to the Court of Appeal), or he may give leave to appeal direct to the Court of Appeal.

Appeals to the House of Lords also lie from any order or judgment either of the Court of Appeal or of any of the Scottish or Irish Courts. They are brought by petition, which is lodged by the appellant at the Parliament Office, and presented to the House at its next meeting by the Lord Chancellor or Clerk of the Parliaments, after which an order requiring the respondent to lodge his printed case is issued and served on him. If he intends to contest the appeal he enters an appearance, and the appellant gives security for costs. Each party then lodges a printed case stating the facts and reasons in their favour, and an appendix is also prepared containing printed copies of the documents and other evidence used in the Court below. The Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1876, provides that an appeal of this kind shall not be heard and determined unless there be present not less than three "Lords of Appeal," that is to say, three of the following persons: - The Lord Chancellor, the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, and such Peers as have held "high judicial office," viz. the office of Lord Chancellor of Great Britain or Ireland, or of paid Judge of the Judicial Committee, or of Judge of the High Court of Justice, or of the Court of Appeal, or of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity in England as they existed before the constitution of the High Court of Justice, or of one of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity at Dublin, or of the Court of Session in Scotland. One year (instead of five years, as formerly) is the time limited for an appeal.

As to the County Courts, which now transact so much of the civil business of the country, the Judge may, after he has given his decision, accede to an application for a new trial on such terms as he thinks reasonable. Also, if either party is dissatisfied with the Judge's decision in point of law or equity, or upon the admission or rejection of any evidence, he may appeal to the High Court in the manner prescribed by the rules. This appeal lies to a Divisional Court of the High Court of Justice.

In appeals to the Privy Council, which lie from an Indian or Colonial Court, and in ecclesiastical matters, also in matters of Admiralty and lunacy, leave to appeal has in most instances to be obtained either from the Court below or from the Judicial Committee, and security given for the costs of the appeal.

As to criminal matters, there is at present no Court of Criminal Appeal strictly so termed. "Crown Cases reserved" have been mentioned. The establishment of a Court of Criminal Appeal has been of late much advocated for obvious reasons. As a general rule, no appeal lies for costs.