Court of Appeal

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When the German Occupation ended and the States of both Guernsey and Jersey turned their attention in 1946 to constitutional changes which were widely believed to be necessary as the islands again took charge of their own affairs, a proposal was put forward to constitute a Channel Island Court of Appeal.

Miscarriages of justice

Up to this point there had been no appeal against judgments of Jersey's Royal Court unless the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council agreed to hear an appeal. This only happened in cases where it was believed that there had been a serious miscarriage of justice.

Although both islands were agreed on the establishment of a Channel Islands court to hear appeals in criminal and civil cases, and the idea was supported by the Privy Council in 1947, the necessary legislation receiving final approval in 1949, the court was never established because, in the words of Jersey's former Attorney-General, Terry Sowden, in an article in the Jersey Law Review 'as a result of further consideration, it become apparent that arrangements in connection with the Channel Islands Court of Appeal which would be convenient in the one Bailiwick, would not be convenient in the other'.

Separate courts

So arrangements went ahead to constitute separate appeal courts for the two Bailiwicks, and the Jersey Court of Appeal finally sat for the first time in 1961.

The Court of Appeal sits approximately six times per year and hears appeals from decisions of the Royal Court in both criminal and civil cases. The Court of Appeal consists of distinguished lawyers who are Judges or Queen’s Counsel.

The Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff are members of the Court of Appeal by virtue of their office and may sit as a member of the Court of Appeal (but only on appeals where they did not sit in the Court below). The Court of Appeal generally sits as a panel of three judges.

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