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Monday, 25 June 2012

On Appeals

An appeal against a decision by a Court basically involves explaining to a higher Court what prevented the lower Court from reaching a fair verdict.

It is neither

  • A second opinion
  • or a re-trial
Generally appeals will be upheld for one or more of the following reasons
  • There was a procedural error by the Judge
  • There was insufficient evidence adduced before the Court for the Judge to reach the verdict they reached
  • A key piece of evidence has since been discovered which calls into question the original verdict
  • The directions given to the jury were erroneous
In effect either the Appellant must show that the Judge made an error or that sufficient new evidence has come to light which casts into doubt the original decision.

There are three possible outcomes; appeal dismissed, appeal upheld and case dismissed or appeal upheld and a re-trial ordered.

On appealing a parking fine it is exceptionally unlikely that there will be any new evidence that can be 'adduced' to the Court  or that directions to the jury were erroneous, simply because it is exceptionally unlikely that there will be a jury. For the higher Court to uphold such an appeal basically it has to decide that the judge failed to ensure that the demands of justice were met, in other words that the judge made a mistake.

My appeal commenced at 10:00am. By 10:15am I was back at work the Royal Court having decided that the relief magistrate, not only, did not have sufficient evidence adduced before him to reach his verdict, but also that in not allowing me to conduct a defence the judge had caused a grave procedural error to occur.

It was a fairly simple matter, I arrived allowed the Law Officer to make their statement that 'as the prosecution had failed to present to the Court the documents showing that I was the registered keeper of the vehicle, the magistrate should not have reached the verdict he did and thus the Attorney General would not be resisting my appeal'. The Deputy Bailiff however was unsatisfied with this and proceeded to criticise Advocate Falle's decision not to allow me to offer evidence and stated that this was a far more serious concern of the Royal Court.

In effect the Attorney General had found the most favourable grounds on which to allow the appeal, whilst at the same time hoping that the huge errors that had been made in the case would not be bought up, but the Deputy Bailiff was aware of this and called the Law Officers on this.

Having been asked whether I wished to seek an order to Costs, an application which I chose not to make, we left the Court. What I did get was 'the manual' on how the Court operates in regard to road traffic offences and as they say, knowledge is power.

I shall now be moving on to challenging some truly shocking decisions made by Civil Servants within the 
Department of Health regarding two severely less-abled people by way of Representation to the Royal Court.