Book – The Appellate Jurisdiction of the Courts in Australia (2nd ed)
Author: Dean Mildren
Publisher: The Federation Press
Reviewer: Grace Devereaux
The law of appeals is one of those more obscure areas that most practitioners tend not to encounter, early on in professional life. Most practitioners do not begin their careers, arguing appeals, and can get by without really knowing too much about them.
Even the seasoned advocate, though, can find themselves a bit lost when it comes to appeal principles. Having argued one kind of appeal will not guarantee an understanding of other appeals. Is it an appeal de novo? (De novo means new, so a new hearing, simple enough.) An appeal by way of rehearing? (Wait, isn’t that an appeal de novo?) An appeal stricto sensu? (Obvious—an appeal that’s strictly an appeal, say no more …).
This book does the work of bringing together these concepts which might otherwise only be found in the case law to which they apply. It does so, nationally, and, while there are chapters which consider particular court jurisdictions in detail, it brings together the otherwise disparate principles.
The author, a former judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, achieves this by taking the reader through the fundamentals of appeals and touching on different statutes and jurisdictions. Structuring the book by fundamental concepts, rather than taking the reader on a journey around Australia, has two advantages. The first is that the reader is encouraged to grapple with the universal basics (well, usually near universal basics) of an appeal, rather than skipping directly to the requirements of a certain statute. The second advantage is, because it refers to each jurisdiction across the country, this book is a concise national summary of the appellate jurisdiction. It will be particularly useful to appellate practitioners briefed in appeals in various jurisdictions.
While there are simply too many jurisdictions and statutes to give all the answers, having this text to hand will allow practitioners to get their bearings in an appeal much more quickly.
The author has also included two chapters of practical application. Chapter 4 is an overview of common requirements for lodging an appeal and Chapter 5 provides advice on preparing written submissions.
Practitioners of all practice areas have chapters of interest. Chapters 8, 9, and 10 concern criminal appeals of various kinds. Chapter 11 concerns civil appeals. Chapter 12 concerns leave applications and appeals to the High Court. Chapter 13 concerns Federal Courts other than the High Court and has been updated from the first edition to consider the establishment of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Division 1.