Court Appeal

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Court of Appeal (England and Wales)

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The Court of Appeal
Royal Courts of JusticeStrandCity of WestminsterLondon
Established1 November 1875[1]
LocationRoyal Courts of Justice, Strand, City of Westminster, London, UK
Authorized bySupreme Court of Judicature Act 1873Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1877
Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1891Criminal Appeal Act 1907Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Act 1935Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Act 1938Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Act 1944Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Act 1959Senior Courts Act 1981
(originally entitled Supreme Court Act 1981)Constitutional Reform Act 2005
Appeals toCourt of Justice of the European Union
(for reference, but only on points of European Union law (EU law) and only with the permission of the COA, before remitting the case back to the COA for determination)[2][3]Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
CurrentlyThe Lord Burnett of Maldon
Since2 October 2017
Master of the Rolls
CurrentlySir Terence Etherton
Since3 October 2016
This article is part of the series: Courts of England and Wales
Law of England and Wales
Civil and family courts[show]
Criminal courts[show]
Criminal prosecution[show]
Legal profession[show]

The Court of Appeal (COA, formally “Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England”)[4] is the highest court within the Senior Courts of England and Wales, and second in the legal system of England and Wales only to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.[5] The COA was created in 1875,[6] and today comprises 39 Lord Justices of Appeal and Lady Justices of Appeal.[7]

The court has two divisions, Criminal and Civil, led by the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls respectively. Criminal appeals are heard in the Criminal Division, and civil appeals in the Civil Division. The Criminal Division also hears appeals from the Crown Court, while the Civil Division hears appeals from the County CourtHigh Court of Justice and Family Court. Permission to appeal is normally required from either the lower court or the Court of Appeal itself; and with permission, further appeal may lie to the Supreme Court.


In law, an appeal is the process in which legal cases are reviewed. An appeal is made to a higher court than the one that made the initial judgment.[1] This is usually an appeals court.[1] In turn, appeals court decisions may be appealed in a supreme court.[2] The person pursuing an appeal is called an appellant.

When a lower court judgement is filed, the losing party (appellant) must file a notice of appeal.[3] The appellant must give the appeals court legal reasons for reversing the decision of the lower court.[3] Usually the legal argument includes legal precedents that relate to this case.[3] The other party, called a respondent or appellee files a brief that counters the claims of the appellant. In turn, the appellant may counter the response of the appellee with a final brief.[3] Then, if the appeals court agrees to hear the case each party argues their case before the court. The appeals court may sustain the original court ruling. They may also reverse the decision sending it back to the lower court.