Court for Crown Cases Reserved

The Court for Crown Cases Reserved was an English appellate court for criminal cases established in 1848[1] to hear references from the trial judge. It did not allow a retrial, only judgment on a point of law. Neither did it create a right of appeal and only a few selected cases were heard every year.[2]

English criminal courts system, 1848–1907


The Court for Crown Cases Reserved was created by the Crown Cases Act 1848, introduced in the House of Lords by Lord Campbell. Under the act, after a conviction, the trial judge in a criminal case could refer the case by way of case stated to the court. A case that was reserved would then be heard by at least five judges, including at least one Chief Justice or Chief Baron.

The court could only hear appeals on a point of law; it could quash a conviction, but not order a retrial or alter a sentence.

It was superseded by the Court of Criminal Appeal in 1907.[3]

Notable cases referred to the courtEdit



  1. ^ Crown Cases Act 1848 (11 & 12 Vict. c.78)
  2. ^ Cornish & Clarke (1989) p.35
  3. ^ Cornish & Clarke (1989) p.619


  • Cornish, W.; Clarke, G. (1989). Law and Society in England 1750-1950. London: Sweet & Maxwell. ISBN 0-421-31150-9.