IMPORTANT: Please refer to the Court of Appeal Protocol(external link) that sets out how the Court of Appeal is operating during COVID-19 Alert Level 4
The Court of Appeal is New Zealand’s intermediate appeal court. It hears appeals from civil and criminal cases heard in the High Court, appeals from criminal jury trials in the District Courts, and leave applications where a second appeal is to be taken.
The Court of Appeal can also hear appeals against pre-trial rulings in criminal cases, and appeals on questions of law from the Employment Court.
The Court of Appeal is located in Wellington with a hearing centre in Auckland. The Court of Appeal has an office (court registry) which is where applications for the court are received.
The daily list contains information about court business in the Court of Appeal. Details in the daily list include the date, court, courtroom and the case(s) to be heard on a particular day.
If you are intending to file proceedings in the Court of Appeal you may want to talk to a lawyer first or get a lawyer to represent you.
You can search for a lawyer on the New Zealand Law Society website by area of practice, such as criminal and civil litigation.
Alternatively, you may be able to get free legal help through Community Law.
You may need to pay a fee if you have proceedings in the Court of Appeal. If you are filing an application in the Court of Appeal that relates to a civil matter, it is almost certain that you will have to pay fees.
Fees for the Court of Appeal are fixed (prescribed) by regulation:
If you have a question about fees please contact the Court of Appeal registry:
You can apply to waive, postpone or refund fees. An application is considered by a registrar or deputy registrar of the court against criteria set out in the fee regulations.
Many court forms and documents must be set out in a certain way which is fixed (prescribed) by legislation. The content and details to be included in a form or document will be specific to the particular circumstances of a case, and may need specialist legal advice to draft it.
If a lawyer is representing you in a court case, your lawyer will be able to help with the forms and documents.
If you are going to court without a lawyer, you will be responsible for identifying the forms and documents you will use.
Decisions of the Court of Appeal may be publicly available in PDF format through the Judicial Decisions Online database or Judgments of Public Interest on the Courts of New Zealand website.
The purpose of the Judicial Decisions Online database is to make a greater number of decisions from the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court available to the public. The database is managed by the Ministry and decisions are published after delivery to the parties, but no earlier than three days after the decisions are delivered.
The purpose of Judgments of Public Interest on the Courts of New Zealand website is to publish decisions from the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court that are deemed to be of significant legal and public interest. Decisions on this website are published for 90 days.
More information about the criteria for publication is available on each of these websites.
Some court decisions are not publicly available due to restrictions on publication, such as a statutory prohibition or judicial order restricting publication. These decisions can only be accessed by applying to the Court of Appeal to search and access court documents.
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