Court of Appeal of England and Wales

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Law of England and Wales

This article is part of the series:
Courts of England and Wales

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom above it. Established in 1875, the Court and its staff of 37 Lords Justices of Appeal hear both criminal appeals in the Criminal Division and civil appeals in the Civil Division, led by the Lord Chief Justice and Master of the Rolls respectively. The Criminal Division hears appeals from the Magistrates' Courts and Crown Court respectively, while the Civil Division hears appeals from the County Courts and High Court of Justice. Permission to appeal is required, either from the lower court or the Court of Appeal itself. Decisions may be additionally appealed to the Supreme Court.



Formation and early history

The appeal system before 1875 was "chaotic". The superior courts system consisted of 12 different courts, with appeal on common law matters to the Court of Exchequer Chamber, chancery matters to the Court of Appeal in Chancery and other matters to the Privy Council. This was the subject of a review by the Judicature Commission, established in 1867 to consider the creation of a "Supreme Court" (a High Court and Court of Appeal) which was published in 1869. The recommendation was that there should be a common system of appeal from all of the High Court divisions, with a limited set of appeals allowed to the House of Lords.[1] This was instituted by the Judicature Acts, with the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 giving an almost limitless right of appeal to the Lords.[2]

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