Appeals are possible as of right from final decisions of judges, to the Full Court of the Federal Court or the Family Court depending on the jurisdiction exercised.

As with the decisions of judges, leave is required to appeal from interlocutory decisions.

An appeal is not by way of a hearing de novo.

However the statutory nature of an appeal to the Family Court provides for a re-hearing by the Full Court when discretion is re-exercised: CDJ v VAJ (1998) 197 CLR 172 ; Allesh v Maunz (2000) HCA 40.

Each Chief Justice has a power to direct that an appeal shall be heard by a single judge - who will constitute a Full Court.

The appeals procedure is designed to provide the courts with the maximum flexibility to deal with cases efficiently and with the appropriate resources, depending on the nature and complexity of the case. It promotes an efficient use of judicial time, without cutting down on the appeal rights of litigants – and without adding an extra layer of review into the appeal process.

See also

Appealing a Judges Decision