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What is a criminal motion

A criminal motion is an application to the General Division of the High Court or Court of Appeal by the accused or prosecution in a criminal case.

Criminal motions can cover a variety of applications. Common types of criminal motions include:

  • Bail pending trial or appeal.
  • Review of a decision made by the State Courts on bail.
  • Extension of time to file a Notice of Appeal or Petition of Appeal.
  • Request for permission to refer any question of law of public interest to the Court of Appeal.
  • Request for permission to adduce further evidence in an appeal.
  • Request for permission to apply for review of an earlier decision of an appellate court.

When you can file

There may be timelines provided by legislation for the filing of a criminal motion.

If you are filing a criminal motion for permission to refer a question of law of public interest to the Court of Appeal, you must file the application within 1 month of the related decision of the General Division of the High Court, unless the Court of Appeal otherwise permits.(1)

How to file a criminal motion

You can file to either the General Division of the High Court or Court of Appeal, depending on your case. There are no filing fees.

You need to submit these 2 documents via eLitigation:

A Notice of Motion form

You will need to file a Notice of Criminal Motion (Forms 72 to 75 of the Schedule to the Criminal Procedure Rules).

The form to be used depends on what you are applying for:

  • For variation of bail: Form 73.
  • For extension of time to file an appeal or any other application: Form 74.
  • For permission to adduce further evidence: Form 75.
  • For other applications: Form 72.

In general, the form should include:

  • Information on your original case (case number, date, parties involved).
  • The nature of your application (what you are applying for).

A supporting affidavit

This is a signed statement made under oath that explains the reasons for your application. Find out how to prepare an affidavit.

If you are making the following types of applications, you must also complete and exhibit an Information Sheet (Forms B44A and B45 of Appendix B of the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021) as part of your affidavit: 

  • For an application for an extension of time to appeal: Form B44A. 
  • For an application for permission to review an earlier decision of an appellate court: Form B45.


Legislation associated with this topic includes Sections 405 to 409 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Refer to:

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

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