There have to be reasons, or ‘grounds' for an appeal. Some of those reasons are explained below.
Appealing against a guilty verdict
When appealing against a guilty verdict a defendant might say:
- there was something unfair about the way their trial took place
- a mistake was made in their trial
- the verdict could not be sustained on the evidence.
Appealing a sentence
When appealing their sentence, the defendant might argue their sentence is much higher than other sentences that have been imposed for that type of offending.
They might also argue that the judge didn’t properly consider their personal circumstances.
Sometimes they might argue their sentence should have been suspended, or that they should have been allowed to serve the sentence on home detention.
The DPP can’t appeal a sentence just because we think the defendant should have received a longer sentence.
For us to be allowed to appeal a sentence, it has to be so low that it is “manifestly inadequate” and it would shake public confidence in the administration of justice if it was allowed to stand.
This is generally where it is necessary to establish a matter of principle that might affect other matters as well.