What is a question of law

A question of law involves an enquiry into the law, rather than the facts of a court case.

The accused or prosecution in a criminal trial can refer a question of law. The application must be made within 10 days of the judgment, sentence or order in question. If the question concerns the Constitution, the application can be made at any stage of the proceedings.

Note
Cases involving questions of law are rare, and are usually conducted by lawyers. You are advised to seek legal advice.

Where a question of law is heard

Where the question of law is heard depends on where the original trial was heard:

For State Courts trials

If your original trial was in the State Courts, the High Court will hear your question of law.

Exception: In special cases, you can apply for the Court of Appeal to hear your case, but only if you have leave (permission) of the Court of Appeal.

For High Court trials

If your original trial was in High Court, the Court of Appeal will hear your question of law.

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes Sections 395 to 396 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Refer to:

What is a criminal reference

A criminal reference is an application to refer a question of law of public interest to the Court of Appeal. It only applies to criminal appeals and criminal revisions heard by the High Court, and not for criminal cases first heard by the High Court.

You will first need to file a criminal motion to the Court of Appeal for leave (permission) to refer the question of law of public interest. This should be done within 1 month of the decision of the High Court.

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes Section 397 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Refer to:


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