Criminal Appeal System

The criminal appeal process in the UK provides a means for individuals who are dissatisfied with the decision made in a criminal case to challenge that decision. The process involves a series of appeals to higher courts, with each court having the power to review the decision made by the lower court.

Magistrates' Court
Appeals against decisions made by a Magistrates' Court are made to the Crown Court. The appeal must be made within 21 days of the decision. The appeal is made to the magistrates’ court and the papers sent by the magistrates’ court staff to the Crown Court.

Crown Court
If a person is convicted in the Crown Court, they can appeal to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division. There are different types of appeals that can be made, including appeals against conviction, sentence, or both. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision.

Court of Appeal Criminal Division
If permission to appeal is granted, the case will be heard by a panel of judges in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division. The judges will review the evidence and arguments presented by both parties and may decide to uphold or overturn the decision made in the lower court. If the appeal is successful, the case may be remitted back to the lower court for further consideration.

Supreme Court
If permission to appeal is granted by the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, the case may be heard by the Supreme Court. However, appeals to the Supreme Court are rare in criminal cases, as they are only allowed on points of law of general public importance.

The criminal appeal process is an important safeguard against miscarriages of justice, providing individuals with the opportunity to challenge decisions made in criminal cases. However, it is important to note that there are strict time limits and limited grounds for making an appeal, and the process can be complex and costly.
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