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Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal is an appellate court and has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgments of the High Court.

The Administration of Justice Decree 2009 (Decree No. 9) provides for the existence and the jurisdiction of this appellate court known as the Court of Appeal.

Composition of the Court

For the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal, the court shall be constituted of three Judges, but specified classes of cases may be heard by two Judges of the Court.

Criminal Appeal

Initiation of Criminal Appeals

Appeals in criminal cases from the High Court shall be filed within 30 days from the date of Conviction or Decision.

Criminal Appeal - Right of Appeal

A person convicted of an offence may appeal to this Court - against conviction on any ground of appeal which involves a question of law alone.

With the leave of the court or upon the certificate of the Judge who tried him/her that it is a fit case for Appeal against his conviction on any ground of appeal which involves a question of fact alone or a question of mixed fact and law or any other ground which appears to the Court to be a sufficient ground of appeal.

With the leave of the Court against the sentence passed after his conviction unless the sentence is one fixed by law.

On a trial before the High Court the State may appeal - against the acquittal of any person on any ground of appeal which involves a question of law alone.

With the leave of the Court of Appeal against the acquittal on any ground which involves a question of fact alone or a question of mixed law and fact.

Application to the Full Court

  • If the single Judge of Appeal refuses an application on the part of the Appellant, the Appellant may have the appeal determined by the full Court.
  • The decision of a single Judge to cancel bail may at the Appellant's request be reviewed by the full court.

Procedure in Criminal

  • Once an appeal is filed at the court registry, a certificate of service must be filed within 7 days of service of the notice of appeal upon the respondent.
  • If the above is not complied with, the appeal is deemed to be abandoned. A fresh appeal can be filed within 3 months of the date of abandonment.
  • If all the rules are complied with, preparation of the record takes place. In the case if an Appellant in person who is in prison, the registry prepares the record; in all other cases the Appellant prepares the record.
  • The matter is then listed for a call over and a date for hearing before the full Court is assigned .

Initiation of Civil Cases-Time Limits

An Appeal is filed to this Court under Rule 16 of the Court of Appeal Rules. Rule 16 states that all Appeals in civil matters must be filed and served as follows:

  • In the case of an Appeal from a final judgment - 6 weeks from the date of judgment of the High Court.
  • In the case of an interlocutory order - 21 days from the date of the order/ruling or judgment of the High Court.

Procedure for Civil Appeals

After an Appeal is filed, the appellant must file a certificate of service (under rule 17) of the Notice of Appeal and apply to the Registrar to fix an amount of security to be given by the Appellant for the prosecution of the Appeal.

If the security is not deposited in the Court within the time specified by the Registrar, the Appeal is deemed to have been abandoned.

In that case the Appellant gets another opportunity to file a fresh appeal within the time specified for filing an appeal from a final or interlocutory judgment.

Failure to file the second Appeal within the prescribed time means that no Appeal can be filed except with the leave of the Court.

If all rules are complied with, the Record of Appeal will be prepared, the matter will be listed for a call over and a hearing date is assigned and submissions ordered.

Abandonment of Appeal

Any Civil Appeal filed stands to be abandoned by the court registry if the Appellant fails to comply with Rules as prescribed by the Court of Appeal Act and Rules.

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Media Release

Keynote Address by Chief Justice Anthony Gates
at the Opening of the Fiji Law Society's Convention
"Fundamentals of Private Practice" 25th September 2015,
Novotel, Suva

Click here to view/download the speech.