Sketch by Isobel Williams, R v Jogee,

Sketch by Isobel Williams, R v Jogee,

The number of applications for leave to appeal lodged by applicants without lawyers at the Court of Appeal shot up by more than a quarter last year. According to the Court of Appeal’s annual report published yesterday, the proportion of such applications remains low although there has been a marked increase from 4.7% in 2013/14 to 6.04% in 2014/15.

Over the period October 2014 to September 2015, there were 1,518 applications to appeal conviction, compared to 1,410 over the previous 12 months; and 4,518 applications to appeal sentence (compared with 4,706 in 2013/14).

‘Applications for leave to appeal lodged by applicants acting in person have increased significantly this year and I anticipate this trend may well continue,’ commented Master Egan QC, registrar of Criminal Appeals. ‘This is likely to place a greater demand on the Court office in terms of advice to applicants and support to the judiciary.’

The annual report recorded that almost eight out of 10 conviction applications considered during the year (79% of) were refused by a single judge and seven out of 10 sentence applications were refused by a single judge.

The court heard 299 full conviction appeals (compared with 397 the previous year) and 1,424 full sentence appeals (compared with 1,582 the previous year). There were 1,232 applications for leave to appeal conviction (compared with 1,148 the previous year) and 3,226 applications for leave to appeal sentence (compared with 3,841 the previous year).

You can download the report here.

Profile photo of Jon Robins About Jon Robins
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award

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  • Toneye December 4, 2015 3:59 pm

    To Appeal in Person We have to understand the Law and Appeal on POINTS of LAW and to know how to address the court to forget about what we think we know only what the LAW is on the civil or Crimnal case and what the Lower Court has said

  • William December 4, 2015 5:50 pm

    I was also unable to use lawyers and I now allege that because of this I was abused by a compensation appeal judge. Soon after my release from Prison I constructed an appeal against a compensation case for sexual assault without the use of lawyers for I had no finance. This was against a compensation case in which I was undefended because these compensation seeking solicitors had placed a freezing injunction upon my assets and refused to allow me fees for legal representation to defend myself. So unrepresented by lawyers all I could do was to stand and listen at this hearing in which the claimant immediately received from me £18,654 and I was then also charged to pay to this solicitor their claimants’ fee of £56,981.84. (They also refused to allow me legal representation fees for my appeal against conviction which continued for 3 years – saying in letters to me that the Judge who had granted them a freezing injunction had forbid them to do so).
    When released from incarceration and unable to engage lawyers I was personally able to gather evidence together and construct an appeal against this compensation case which was accepted by the Royal Courts of Justice London. In this appeal I could prove, by former police statements and independent witness that over 92% of the 25 statements given to the judge for evaluation purpose – were false and had been fabricated with the remaining two being be cancelled by common sense. I did this in order to prove that my accuser was an unreliable witness and to use this in my appeal against conviction for under this new law I was staggeringly convicted only by her uncorroborated words and without any other evidence. (I also needed to obtain the return of money so that I could engage a lawyer and begin this appeal).
    Sadly I received this answer from Judge at the Royal Courts of Justice, London saying that my appeal was out of time and adding that the main reason being that an appeal would be a “potential unfairness to the respondent who has had an unchallenged order in her favour for so long” – although I clearly provided corroborated evidence that all the statements made against me was based upon were false claims. I was also denied the right to an hearing to challenge this “judgement” which sadly proves that the interest of the judge is more relevant than proving that 92% of the respondent 25 claims against me can be proven perjuries by police statements and third party witnesses.. Question: Why is this protection against perjury allowed? How can the personal interests of a judge be relevant to an appeal? But the big question is “I believe that the above happened because I was not represented by lawyers”. Now I also cannot appeal against my false conviction because these solicitors’ took all my money as their client’s fee and so I cannot engage a lawyer and so I now sit in silence wondering who allows this to happen.

  • Christopher Lennon December 6, 2015 6:03 pm

    In other words, do your homework, or appear at your peril.

  • amelinixon December 8, 2015 8:27 pm

    How unfair to expect the public to appear in court with rudimentary or no knowledge of the law. We can no longer say that our system is fair or even accessible.

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