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Criminal Law Noticeboard May 2021 - commencement of Supreme Court (Criminal Appeal) Rules 2021 (NSW)

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The Supreme Court (Criminal Appeal) Rules 2021 (NSW), made under the Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW), commenced on 1 May 2021 and repeal the Criminal Appeal Rules (NSW) made under the Criminal Appeal Act 1912 (NSW) (s 6.3). The Rules apply to proceedings in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Important provisions of the new Rules include:

1. Dispensing with a rule – the Court has discretion to dispense with a requirement of the Rules by order if appropriate in the circumstances – s 1.4.

2. Notice of intention to appeal – a notice of intention to appeal is to be given by filing a notice of appeal in the approved form – s 3.1(1). A notice of intention to appeal has effect for 12 months after filing – s 3.1(3). Forms under the Rules may be found on the Supreme Court's website.

3. Notice of appeal, time limits – a notice of appeal against a conviction or sentence is to be filed during the period a notice of intention to file has effect or, if no notice of intention to appeal has been filed, within 3 months of the conviction or sentence – s 3.5(1),(2). A prosecutor must file a notice of appeal against a sentence within 28 days after the sentence – s 3.5(3).

4. Stated cases – provision is made for the stating of a case by a trial judge under Division 3.2 of the Rules.

5. Applications for review of convictions and sentences and guideline judgments – the Rules apply also:

  • to applications for review of convictions and sentences under Part 7 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 – s 3.11;
  • to an application for a guideline judgment under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, s 37 – s 3.13.

6. Case management – the Rules provide for the giving of directions by way of case management of appeals – s 4.1.

7. Former rule 4 – s 4.15 of the Rules is in almost identical terms to the former rule 4 of the Criminal Appeal Rules, ie that no direction, omission to direct, or decision as to the admission or rejection of evidence given by a trial judge may, without leave of the Court, be allowed as a ground for appeal or application for leave unless objection was taken at the trial to the direction, omission, or decision by the appellant or applicant for leave.

8. Non-appearance by appellant – by s 5.7, if an appellant does not, without reasonable excuse, appear at the hearing of the appeal or application for leave to appeal, the Court may summarily dismiss the appeal or application, or decline to hear it, or hear it in the absence of the appellant.

9. Definitions – Schedule 1 of the Rules contains a Dictionary of terms used within the rules.

The new Rules will be reproduced in Criminal Law NSW and annotations will be added in forthcoming updates.

The Criminal Law Practice Area on Westlaw has many services that are designed to complement each other to provide the breadth of coverage of a single compendium but with the in-depth analysis that specific focus areas will allow. In addition, the Alert and the reports series will also enable practitioners to keep up to date with pertinent caselaw. When taken in its entirety, the Criminal Law Practice Area will furnish subscribers with a full picture of Criminal Law in the respective jurisdictions without the necessary restrictions of single services. The Criminal Law Noticeboard is specifically geared for specialists in the area and will deliver news items of interest and significance written and curated by in-house editors. To subscribe to the Criminal Law Practice Area on Westlaw, contact Thomson Reuters.

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