New laws to speed up finalisation of appeals to Court of Appeal

• Reforms to provide for simpler and clearer civil appeals process in Court of Appeal
• Supporting Victoria’s courts and improving access to justice
• Napthine Government building a better Victoria

Civil appeals to Victoria’s Court of Appeal will be able to be finalised more quickly and efficiently under new laws that have commenced today.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said the Coalition Government’s reforms reduce the administrative burden on the Court of Appeal and enable appeals without merit to be identified and dealt with early on.

“Under these reforms, permission to appeal will be required in almost all civil appeals and will only be granted where the court considers that the appeal has a real chance of success,” Mr Clark said.

“The court will be able to determine applications for permission to appeal without an oral hearing. Applications lacking any merit at all will be able to be rejected at that stage with no further right of appeal or review.

“In other cases where a single judge refuses permission without an oral hearing, the applicant will then be able to have an oral hearing before two or more other judges. If the judges are still not convinced there is a real chance of success, the applicant will not be able to proceed further.

The new laws follow similar reforms to criminal appeals, which have proved very successful in dramatically reducing waiting lists and shortening the time required to finalise appeals.

“The timely resolution of civil appeals in the Court of Appeal is vital for the parties involved, whether individuals, businesses, government or other entities.

“These latest reforms will enable the Supreme Court to build on the wide range of other reforms it has introduced in recent years to establish the Court as a venue of choice for civil litigants and to ensure that parties can obtain the just and timely resolution of disputes they bring before the Court.”