Garry Wakefield, P O Box 8958,Christchurch 8440

+64 3 348 4692

+64 3 348 9246

Appeal to District Court and higher courts

An external review decision can be appealed to the District Court. The appeal is a rehearing, which means that the court will just look at the evidence that was given at the review, subject to a discretionary power to rehear or receive further evidence. This is different from a "de novo" hearing, which is where the parties present their cases and any evidence they have, as if for the first time.

What is the time limit for making an appeal?

An appeal of a review decision must be made within 28 days after receiving the review decision, unless the court gives leave for a late appeal.

Who may appear at the court hearing?

The appellant and any person who had a right to appear at the review are entitled to appear at the appeal in the District Court, either personally or by a representative. The representative need not be a lawyer.

Note: Legal aid may be available for an appeal of a review decision to the District Court.

What decisions can the District Court make?

The District Court can:

  • dismiss the appeal
  • modify the review decision
  • quash the review decision, and
  • endorse ACC's decision
  • require ACC to take certain action
  • require another review to be held.

Appeal from District Court to High Court

The District Court's decision can be appealed to the High Court, but only on a question of law.

The party wanting to appeal must get leave to appeal from the District Court. The appellant has 21 days from the date of the District Court decision to apply for that leave. If the District Court refuses leave, then an application may be made to the High Court for leave within 21 days of that refusal. If leave is given, the appellant has 21 days to file the appeal in the High Court.

Appeal from High Court to Court of Appeal

There is a final right of appeal to the Court of Appeal on a question of law. Again there is a two-step process of first obtaining leave from the High Court, or from the Court of Appeal if the High Court refuses.

Generally no appeal may be brought after 28 days from the date of the High Court decision unless special leave is given by the High Court or Court of Appeal.

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