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appeal, in law, hearing by a superior court to consider correcting or reversing the judgment of an inferior court, because of errors allegedly committed by the inferior court. The party appealing the decision is known as the appellant, the party who has won the case in the lower court as the appellee. The term is also sometimes used to describe the review by a court of the action of a government board or administrative officer. Appellate procedure is set by statute. There are two types of errors, of fact and of law. An error of fact is drawing a false inference from evidence presented at the trial. An error of law is an erroneous determination of the legal rules governing procedure, evidence, or the matters at issue between the parties. Ordinarily, only errors of law may be reviewed in appeal. In an appeal from an action tried in equity, however, the appellate court passes on the entire record, both as to facts and law. Should the appeals court conclude that no error was committed, it will affirm the decision of the lower court. If it finds that there was error, it may direct a retrial or grant a judgment or decree in favor of the party who lost in the lower court. The determinations of appeals courts are usually printed, often with an opinion indicating the basis for the court's decisions. Such opinions are of great utility in guiding the inferior courts and are often cited as precedents in future cases. See also habeas corpus.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(juridical), one of the forms of appealing judicial decisions that have not become res judicata in criminal and civil proceedings.

In the appeal procedure, the next higher court examines the merits of the decision of a lower court, reviewing anew the investigation of the evidence presented in the case and any new evidence that may be presented. After this, the higher court will either affirm the appealed decision or, having reversed it, will render a new decision. This distinguishes an appeal from a cassation, which means in bourgeois states that a higher court cannot render a new decision but can only cancel the appealed decision or direct the lower court to retry the case. In an appeal, a court’s decision is reviewed not merely in terms of isolated procedures but on the merit of the case as a whole—including the guilt or innocence of the defendant, the punitive measure, the recovery or dismissal, and the amount sought in the suit. The decision resulting from an appeal procedure is usually subject to a cassation appeal (with a few exceptions).

The appeal form developed in France during the period of the consolidation of absolutism, since an appeal made it possible to transfer a case from the courts of the local feudal lords to royal courts. In bourgeois states, as a rule, all judicial decisions can be appealed, aside from jury trials and such exceptions as court-martials. Only in Great Britain, by a law passed in 1907, are appeals of jury verdicts allowed. Moreover, in reviewing a case, the appellate court has the right to make worse the position of the parties—for example, by increasing the punitive measure. The introduction of appeals of decisions arising out of jury trials in Great Britain was a departure even from the bourgeois-democratic foundations of the judicial process, since the jury trial in bourgeois countries is the sole form of the general population’s participation in administration of justice. Under an appeal system, the center of proceedings is shifted to the appellate court. This essentially limits the importance of the courts of first instance, which are usually more accessible to the population from the point of view of publicity of the judicial proceedings.

In the USSR, the appeal procedure was abolished by the First Decree on the Courts of Nov. 22, 1917, since it was regarded as an institution that could not be conducive to the consolidation of the authority of the new people’s courts. In contemporary Soviet procedure there are only isolated elements of appeal procedure. For example, article 46 of the Fundamentals of Civil Procedure of the USSR and the Union Republics (1961) allows the next higher court to render a new decision if the case requires no gathering or additional checking of evidence and the circumstances of the case were fully and correctly established by the court of first instance but some error in applying the law has occurred. Such a formulation does not undermine the authority and importance of decisions rendered by lower courts, primarily by raion or city people’s courts—the basic units of the Soviet judicial system. The form of appealing court decisions in the USSR is that of cassation.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Law
a. the judicial review by a superior court of the decision of a lower tribunal
b. a request for such review
c. the right to such review
2. Cricket a verbal request to the umpire from one or more members of the fielding side to declare a batsman out
3. English law (formerly) a formal charge or accusation
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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(5) Although Elliott opposed the motion on the ground that the motion failed to state a substantive basis for entitlement, the response failed "to challenge the legal sufficiency of the proposal for settlement." (6) The appellate court affirmed the summary judgment, granted appellate fees to SRC based on the unchallenged proposal for settlement, and remanded to the trial court to determine the amount.
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In this case, the appellate court concluded that the defendants demonstrated their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law.
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Two-part test that asks appellate courts to (a) review de novo the question of whether a statement is hearsay and (b) review for abuse of discretion regarding whether the statement falls within a hearsay exception;
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And, in a significant number of cases, the appellate court has been siding with the asylum seekers, agreeing that some immigration judges are issuing uninformed and illogical decisions, and sending the cases back to immigration court to be reconsidered.
Koerth functions as a simple extension of Leon's central holding: Appellate courts should continue to admit evidence unless the defendant can show both that the warrant-issuing magistrate wholly abandoned the proper judicial role and that the reliance of law enforcement officers upon the defective search warrant was not objectively reasonable.
According to the Washington-based National Center for State Courts, 36 states allow cameras in civil and criminal proceedings in both trial and appellate courts. Cameras are allowed for criminal cases only in one other state.
Stevens acknowledged that district courts may be better situated than appellate courts to determine the reprehensibility of a defendant's conduct.
It wasn't until this past summer that the number of African-American judges serving on the appellate courts reached the same level as when President Carter left office twenty years ago.