New South Wales Court of Appeal
|New South Wales Court of Appeal|
|Established||1 January 1966|
|Country||New South Wales, Australia|
|Composition method||Vice-regal appointment upon Premier's nomination, following advice of the Attorney General and Cabinet|
|Authorized by||Parliament of New South Wales|
|Decisions are appealed to||High Court of Australia|
|Judge term length||mandatory retirement by age of 72|
|Website||Court of Appeal|
|Chief Justice of New South Wales|
|Currently||Justice Tom Bathurst|
|Since||1 June 2011|
|President of the Court of Appeal|
|Currently||Justice Margaret Beazley|
|Since||1 March 2013|
The New South Wales Court of Appeal is the highest civil state court for the Australian state of New South Wales. It forms part of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and hears appeals from civil proceedings before the Supreme Court, the District Court, the Land and Environment Court, and some tribunals.
Although the New South Wales Court of Appeal commenced operation on 1 January 1966 with the appointment of the President, Sir Gordon Wallace, and six Judges of Appeal, Bernard Sugerman, Charles McLelland, Cyril Walsh, Kenneth Jacobs, Kenneth Asprey and John Holmes Dashwood, the Court of Appeal was established in 1965, replacing the former appellate Full Court of the New South Wales Supreme Court. The advent of the Court of Appeal was controversial, as it introduced another order and unexpectedly uprooted the established order of hierarchy and seniority among judges of the New South Wales Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeal consists of the chief justice, the president of the Court of Appeal and nine judges of appeal. There are currently 11 judges of appeal with current commissions. However, two of them, Justice Hoeben and Justice McClellan, are not operating full-time as judges of appeal. Justice Hoeben is chief judge at common law. Justice McClellan is chairing a Royal Commission. Currently these positions are filled by:
- Tom Bathurst (Chief Justice) (1 June 2011)
- Margaret Beazley (President) (1996; President from 2013)
- Ruth McColl (29 April 2003)
- John Basten (2 May 2005)
- Robert Macfarlan (2008)
- Anthony Meagher (10 August 2011)
- Julie Ward (2012; Supreme Court: 2008)
- Fabian Gleeson (29 April 2013)
- Mark Leeming (3 June 2013)
- Carolyn Simpson (11 June 2015; Supreme Court: 1994)
- Anthony Payne (30 March 2016)
Most judges in the Court of Appeal also sit on the Court of Criminal Appeal in varying degrees of frequency. The Chief Judge at Common Law, Clifton Hoeben, and the Chief Judge in Equity, Patricia Bergin, also sit on the Court of Appeal (and the Court of Criminal Appeal) from time to time. There are also three current Acting Justices of Appeal: Reginald Ian Barrett, Ronald Sackville, and Arthur Emmett.
The Court of Appeal operates pursuant to the Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW). The Court hears appeals from a variety of courts and tribunals in New South Wales, in particular the Supreme Court and the District Court. The Court of Appeal must grant leave to appeal a judgment of an inferior court, before it hears the appeal proper. Special leave to appeal is required to appeal a judgment from the Court of Appeal to the High Court of Australia. Because special leave is only granted by the High Court under certain conditions, the Court of Appeal is in effect a court of final appeal for many matters.
- Kirby M. (2008.) "Judicial Supersession: The Controversial Establishment of the New South Wales Court of Appeal", Sydney Law Review, Sydney Law School, Camperdown, 30:177–208.