Plain Guide to Litigation: Appeals


Appeals

If you think that the court has reached the wrong decision, appeal processes may be available. You are strongly advised to seek the advice of a solicitor for any possible appeal and we mention appeals mainly to act as a warning that there are important time limits. You should be aware that an appeal does not allow you to have a second shot at the case. In order to be successful on appeal you will normally have to show that the Court has gone wrong on some identified question of law.

Appeals against a decision of a single member of the Court will be heard by the Chairman or Deputy Chairman with two other members. The timetable appears in the Land Court Rules. Appeals from the Land Court to the Court of Session can be made, in some types of case, by an application for a special case to be stated by the Land Court for consideration by the Court of Session. Appeals under the Agricultural Holdings Acts must be made direct to the Court of Session. These matters are all regulated by Rules of the Court of Session and guidance may be available from the clerks at that court. Time limits for requesting a special case are very tight and you should seek advice without any delay if you intend to challenge the Land Court’s decision.

It has not been necessary for the purposes of this Guide to say much about how the Court organises its business. But in the context of appeals it may be helpful to explain that the Court has power to allocate work to one or more of its members. When such a delegated court is sitting, it is known as the Divisional Court. That is because of the old practice of dividing the country into areas and allocating different members to each. Appeals from the Divisional Court are usually to the Full Court. Appeals against decisions of the Full Court go to the Court of Session.

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