Appeals in the Queensland Court of Appeal – how to respond to an appeal

The Court of Appeal is a division of the Queensland Supreme Court that only hears appeals. This factsheet is designed to give you information about responding to an appeal to the Court of Appeal in civil cases.

Rules referenced in this fact sheet are the Uniform Rules of Civil Procedure 1999.

Responding to an appeal

If you are the respondent and are served with a notice of appeal, you can:

(a) file a notice of cross appeal, if you also want to appeal (rule 755); or

(b) file a notice of contention, if you believe that the grounds of appeal contained in the Notice of Appeal have merit, but that there is another reason why the decision of the trial judge should be upheld (rule 757);

within fourteen days of the date you are served.

Your other options are either to “resist” the appeal, that is, argue that the original decision was correct, or you could choose not to participate in the appeal.

Deciding whether or not to respond

Your first step should be to read carefully through the reasons for the decision and the notice of appeal.

If the trial court did not give written reasons for its decision, you will need to obtain a transcript of the trial court’s reasons for decision.

You will need to read through the reasons for the decision carefully, noting how the court came to its decision. In particular you should note:

  1. What findings of fact did the court make?
  2. What legal rules did the court apply?
  3. How did the court apply the legal rules to the facts?
  4. Were there any defects in the procedures that the court used?
  5. Did the court consider everything that it was required to consider, or not consider something that it was required to consider?

Answering these questions should help you to understand how the court below made its decision, and whether or not there were any errors by the court.

Appeal timetables

The Court of Appeal Registry takes a fairly active role in appeals. Once an appeal has been filed, both parties will receive an Appeal Timetable from the Registry.

This sets out the due date for the various steps that both parties will have to comply with.

The Court of Appeal expects the parties to comply with this timetable. If you are going to have difficulties in complying with this timetable, you should contact the Court of Appeal Registry to ask for an extension.

Twenty-eight days after an appeal is commenced, the appellant should serve an outline of argument and a draft appeal book index. The appeal book contains the material that the judges of the Court of Appeal hearing the case will have before them. The Court expects the parties to confer about what documents will be put in the appeal book.

If you are participating in the appeal, you have twenty-eight days to file any outline of argument in response. See our factsheet on drafting and outline of argument or submissions for more information about these documents. You should also file and serve a “List of Authorities.” The List of Authorities lists all of the cases and legislation that you intend to rely on at the hearing.

Part A of the list includes those cases and legislation that you will definitely be referring to when your appeal is heard.

Part B of the list includes those cases and legislation that you may refer to in the hearing.

What is the effect of the appeal on the decision?

Bringing an appeal does not automatically prevent you from enforcing the judgment against the other party (rule 761).

In such a case, the other party needs to apply to the Court of Appeal to “stay” the enforcement of the decision against them.

Listing the appeal for hearing

Once the outlines of argument are filed, the Registry will contact the parties to set an appeal date.

Two clear court days before the appeal is heard, you should file 3 copies of the cases and legislation in Part A of your List of Authorities, except for those cases and legislation that the Appellant or Applicant has included in Part A of their List of Authorities. You do not have to give the Court copies of the cases and legislation in Part B of your List.