Any accused or defendant in a criminal case who was sentenced to imprisonment for the crime charged against him may appeal his conviction to the appellate court.
The grounds of appeal are clearly set out in the Criminal Appeals Act of 2004 and these grounds are as follows:
a. The verdict issued by the jury is unreasonable or
b. The verdict issued is not supported by the evidence presented by the prosecution; or
c. That there is an erroneous application of law upon which the judgment is based and that erroneous judgment should be set aside; or
d. That there was a miscarriage of justice.
Criminal Courts in Australia are given authoritative guidance by the majority of the High Court when they are determining whether to set aside the verdict of the jury on the ground that the same is unreasonable or without basis because the evidence does not support the verdict.
The test used is one which expressed in terms of whether the verdict issued by the jury is unsafe or one which is unsatisfactory. It is settled that the question is a fact which the court must resolve my making an independent assessment of evidence that although it calls for a verdict of conviction, there is a danger in all circumstances to let the jury’s decision to stand.
It is up for the court to scrutinize whether the totality of the evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused of the crime charged. A verdict that is unsafe or unsatisfactory is equivalent to a miscarriage of justice requiring the verdict to be set aside.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.