Appeal or dispute a court decision

In the Northern Territory (NT), if you are unhappy with a conviction, sentence or civil judgment that has been handed to you in the Local Court or Supreme Court you may be able to file an appeal.

What can be appealed

You can appeal against your guilty verdict, and/or the harshness of your sentence. Prosecutors can also appeal against your case if they think your sentence is too light.

Or, you can appeal a civil judgement if there has been error of law in the decision of the tribunal, magistrate or judge. 

Appealing a Local Court or tribunal decision

You will need to apply to the Supreme Court within 28 days to have your appeal considered by the court. 

You will have a hearing before a single judge. A representative for the Director of Public Prosecutions will appear in the place of the Summary Prosecutor from the Local Court if your appeal relates to a sentence or conviction.

Similarly, if you file a civil appeal, a representative for the other party to your claim will have the right to appear at any appeal hearing.

Appealing a Supreme Court decision

If you are unhappy with a sentence, conviction or civil judgment that has been handed to you by the Supreme Court, you can apply within 28 days to have it assessed in the Supreme Court by three judges. 

This is known as the Court of Appeal or Court of Criminal Appeal.

During your appeal

During an appeal, the judges will not rehear your case. They will concentrate on whether a mistake happened in the original hearing or trial. 

They will also review your sentence or conviction to see it if it is too harsh or too light.

Last updated: 06 February 2019

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