In a perfect legal system there would be no need for appeals. However, our legal system is not perfect and sometimes mistakes are made. It is the job of the Appeals Courts to hear matters on appeal, determine whether errors have been made and, if so, what should be done to rectify it.
An appeal is not a retrial or a re-sentence but rather is an application to try to show that the Magistrate, Judge or jury made a mistake that affected the outcome.
For example, you can appeal if:
If an appeal against conviction is successful, the Court will either quash the conviction and find you not guilty or order a new trial with a different judge and jury.
If an appeal against sentence is successful, your sentence may be reduced or a different type of sentence (for example, a non-custodial sentence) may be imposed.
In most cases, the court hears only legal argument about a specific point and will consider only the evidence that was given at the original trial or sentence. There are limited exceptions to this where new or “fresh” evidence will be permitted to be heard.
Strict time limits and procedures apply when appealing Court decisions. Appeals normally involve legally complex argument and the process for appealing depends on many different factors, including the offence and the original Court that determined the matter.