New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal

  (Redirected from NSW Court of Criminal Appeal)

The New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, is the highest court for criminal matters and has appellate jurisdiction in the Australian State of New South Wales.[1]

New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal
Coat of Arms of New South Wales.svg
JurisdictionNew South Wales, Australia
LocationSix locations in Sydney CBD
Composition methodVice-regal appointment upon Premier's nomination, following advice of the Attorney General and Cabinet
Authorized byParliament of New South Wales via the:
Appeals toHigh Court of Australia
Appeals from
Judge term lengthmandatory retirement by age of 72
Chief Justice of New South Wales
CurrentlyJustice Tom Bathurst AC
Since1 June 2011 (2011-06-01)
President of the Court of Appeal
CurrentlyJustice Andrew Bell
Since28 February 2019 (2019-02-28)


The Court hears appeals from people who were convicted or pleaded guilty and were sentenced by a Supreme or District court judge. The Court also hears appeals lodged by The Crown against the severity of a sentence. Decisions made by the Land and Environment Court, the Industrial Court or the Drug Court in criminal jurisdiction may also be brought for appeal. The Court of Criminal Appeal may also grant leave to appeal in matters involving questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law. It may also grant leave to appeal in cases where the severity or adequacy of the sentence is challenged.[1]

If a petitioner is not satisfied with the decision made by the Court of Criminal Appeal, application may be made to the High Court of Australia for special leave to appeal the decision before the High Court.


Three judges usually form the panel for appeals, although five judges can be used for significant legal issues. The Chief Justice has ultimate discretion in determining the number of judges to sit on the Bench, and the selection of individual judges for each case. A unanimous decision is not needed as the majority view will prevail. The presiding judge is usually one of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, a Judges of Appeal or the Chief Judge at Common Law. Typically each bench comprises at least two judges of the Common Law Division.[2]:6 Single judges hear sentence appeals from the Drug Court.[2]:15

The Judges who may typically be the presiding judge are listed below:

Name Title Term began Time in office
Tom Bathurst AC Chief Justice [3] 1 June 2011 9 years, 25 days
Andrew Bell President, Court of Appeal [4] 28 February 2019 1 year, 119 days
Clifton Hoeben AM, RFD Judge of Appeal 23 April 2012 8 years, 64 days
Chief Judge at Common Law 21 February 2013 7 years, 126 days
Julie Ward Judge of Appeal 12 November 2012 7 years, 227 days
Chief Judge in Equity 15 March 2017 3 years, 103 days
John Basten Judge of Appeal[5] 2 May 2005 15 years, 55 days
Robert Macfarlan 8 September 2008 11 years, 292 days
Anthony Meagher 10 August 2011 8 years, 321 days
Fabian Gleeson 29 April 2013 7 years, 58 days
Mark Leeming 3 June 2013 7 years, 23 days
Anthony Payne 30 March 2016 4 years, 88 days
Richard White 15 March 2017 3 years, 103 days
Paul Brereton AM, RFD 22 August 2018 15 years, 55 days
Lucy McCallum 30 January 2019 1 year, 148 days
Reginald Barrett Acting Judge of Appeal 16 March 2016 4 years, 102 days
Arthur Emmett 7 March 2013 7 years, 111 days
Carolyn Simpson 30 March 2018 2 years, 88 days


In 2018, the Court heard 407 new cases, which included 265 appeals against severity of sentence, 108 appeals against conviction, 19 appeals against interlocutory judgments and 1 case returned from the High Court for re-hearing. Appeals against convictions were approximately 27 per cent in 2018 and, in recent years have showed a trend towards increasing complexity, impacting on Court time and resources.[2]:25

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Court of Criminal Appeal". Supreme Court of New South Wales. Government of New South Wales. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "2018 Annual Review" (PDF). Supreme Court of New South Wales. Government of New South Wales. 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  3. ^ Patty, A (13 May 2011). "Tom Bathurst appointed NSW Chief Justice". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ NSW Department of Justice (23 January 2019). "New President of the NSW Court of Appeal". Justice NSW. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Judicial officer contact details". Supreme Court of New South Wales. Retrieved 28 February 2020.

External linksEdit