Appeals against Local Court decisions

In the NSW Local Court, there are different appeal processes for different types of cases. You should get legal advice if you are thinking about lodging an appeal. Staff at the NSW Local Court cannot give legal advice.

Defendant not present when convicted and sentenced

In all criminal and Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) cases, if a person is convicted and sentenced, and is not present at court when that occurs, an appeal can be made to the local court. This is called a section 4 review (or application for annulment). The local court can decide to annul the previous conviction and sentence (this means set aside those orders) and then re-determine the case.

The time limit for making a section 4 review application is 2 years from the date of conviction or sentence.

The application for a section 4 review is lodged at the local court. There is a fee for this application.

Appeal to a higher court instead of a section 4 review can only be made with leave of the higher court.

Appeal in criminal and AVO cases (not environment offences)

Where a defendant was present when convicted and sentenced, appeal is made to the NSW District Court. Appeal can be made against the conviction and or sentence or both.

The time limit for a District Court appeal is 28 days after date of conviction or sentence. Leave to appeal can be made up to 3 months after the date of conviction and sentence.

An appeal form is lodged at Local Court and a fee applies for lodging an appeal.

Appeal in environment offences

Where a defendant was present when convicted and sentenced, appeals against decisions of the Local Court in environment offences are made to the Land and Environment Court.

The time limit for a Land and Environment Court appeal is 28 days after the conviction or sentence.

The form of appeal against environment offences is lodged at the Land and Environment Court.

Appeal in civil cases

The right of appeal in civil cases is limited. Appeals are made to a higher court.

Decisions in cases heard in the small claims division are appealed to the District Court but are limited to grounds of lack of jurisdiction or denial of procedural fairness.

Decisions in cases heard in the general division are appealed to the Supreme Court but only on a question of law. Leave to appeal may be sought on other grounds.

Appeals in civil cases are made by summons and are lodged at the higher court. The time limit for appeal is 28 days after the order. Fees apply to file a summons at a higher court.

Last updated:

04 Mar 2020

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