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What is a criminal revision

In a criminal revision, the General Division of the High Court may call for and examine a State Courts criminal matter to satisfy itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any decision made, or the regularity of those proceedings.

The General Division of the High Court may do so on its own motion, or on an application made by the State Courts, the Public Prosecutor or the accused.

However, an application for a criminal revision cannot be made by a party in relation to a decision the party could have appealed against but had failed to. There are exceptions where:

  • The application relates to a failure by the State Courts to impose a mandatory minimum sentence or some other sentence required by law.
  • The application relates to a sentence which the State Courts was not competent to impose.

Some examples of matters covered by criminal revisions include:

  • Retracting a plea of guilt.
  • Setting aside a conviction and/or substituting a conviction for a different offence.
  • Setting aside a sentence that cannot be imposed based on the law.
  • The disposal of property seized for investigations.
  • Orders made at a criminal case disclosure conference.

How to file a criminal revision

You need to file a criminal revision via eLitigation.

You should provide the following information in your application:

After filing a criminal revision

After you file a criminal revision, the court may direct you to attend court and explain your case, or it may decide the application without an oral hearing. If an oral hearing is fixed, the General Division of the High Court will inform you of your hearing date via post, email or both. The judge will decide whether to allow or dismiss your application, or give some other direction.

You cannot appeal the court’s decision if your application is dismissed. However, you may refer a question of law of public interest to the Court of Appeal if your case qualifies. (1)

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.

Find out more

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