An appeal is where the Court of Criminal Appeal is asked to consider whether an error may have been made in either convicting or sentencing a defendant.

As a victim, you have the right to ask the prosecutor to consider an appeal.

A defendant can also appeal against their conviction or their sentence.

Deciding to appeal

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) can appeal against:

  • a not guilty finding (only if this is in a trial by judge alone)
  • the sentence, where they believe it is too lenient.

The ODPP usually only undertakes appeals in rare circumstances, and where there is a reasonable prospect of success.

If you want the ODPP to consider an appeal, you must write to the prosecutor within 10 days.

The Commissioner for Victims’ Rights can help you.

More details about the appeals process can be found on the ODPP website.

Things to remember

An appeals process is often long and can be very complex.

Many victims and family members can become frustrated with delays, adjournments and the amount of time it can take to resolve an appeal.

The ongoing nature of appeals can also take an emotional toll on victims and families. The process can be frustrating, confusing, overwhelming and exhausting.

Appeals are also likely to have a greater media interest.

Contact the Commissioner for Victims' Rights

The Commissioner can help you with the appeals process, as well as provide you with access to support services.