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What happens at an appeal hearing

During an appeal hearing, the parties will present their cases. Usually, the party who files the appeal, also known as the appellant, will go first. The party that the appeal is filed against is the respondent.

The respondent will address the court after the appellant has done so. If the respondent addresses the court, the appellant will be allowed to respond to the respondent. The Judge will then decide the outcome of the matter and deliver the decision on the day itself or on a later date.

If the appellant and/or the respondent is represented by a lawyer, the appointed lawyer will speak on the party's behalf.

The General Division of the High Court hears appeals against decisions of the State Courts, while the Court of Appeal hears appeals against decisions of the General Division of the High Court. If you are the appellant, the appellate court will notify you of your hearing details once the appeal is ready for hearing.

This is the process during an appeal hearing, from the appellant's point of view:

What happens if the parties are absent from the hearing

If the appellant is in custody and does not appear at the hearing in person or is not represented by a lawyer at the hearing, the court may consider the appellant’s appeal and may make such orders as it thinks fit (appropriate).

If the appellant is not in custody and does not appear at the hearing, the court may dismiss the appeal. However, the appeal may be reinstated if the appellant subsequently appears before the court and satisfies the court that their non-appearance was not due to their fault.

If the respondent is absent and the court is not satisfied that the notice stating the time and place of the hearing has been served on the respondent, the court will not make any order adverse to the respondent. The court will postpone the hearing to a future day.

However, if the notice cannot be served on the respondent, or the court is satisfied that notice has been properly served on the respondent, the court may hear the appeal in the respondent’s absence.

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