The Court of Appeal is the intermediate appeal court. It has jurisdiction, to hear and determine appeals from the High Court, and has such other jurisdictions as conferred on it by law.
The Constitution of the Republic of Fiji provides for the existence and the jurisdiction of this appellate court known as the Court of Appeal.
Judges of the Court of Appeal
The Court consists of a President (who must be a judge), a Resident Justice of Appeal, Judges appointed to the Court of Appeal panel (including visiting judges) and other Puisne judges of the High Court.
Composition of the Court
For the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal, the court shall be constituted of three Judges, but provisions can be made for hearing and determining specified classes of cases by two Judges of the Court.
Powers of a Single Judge of Appeal in Civil matters
Give leave to appeal to the full Court.
Extend time within which an appeal can be filed.
Grant a stay of execution or make interim orders.
Give judgment by consent.
Dismiss any appeal for want of prosecution.
Deal with costs and generally hear any application and give direction incidental to an appeal.
Function of the Registry Staff
The registry staff of the Court of Appeal also manage the registry duties of the Supreme Court of Fiji. It is based only in Suva.
The staff at both these appellate jurisdiction registries provide the necessary support services to the Officer-in-Charge, each other and the judges presiding in Court.
Apart from the Court room duties, the staff are also expected to serve the public at the registry counter, attend to the completion of court records and all other work ancillary to the effective operation of the registry.
Initiation of Civil Cases-Time Limits
An Appeal is filed to this Court under Rule 16 of the Court of Appeal Rules. Rule 16 states that all Appeals in civil matters must be filed and served as follows:
In the case of an Appeal from a final judgment – 6 weeks from the date of judgment of the High Court.
In the case of an interlocutory order – 21 days from the date of the order/ruling or judgment of the High Court.
Procedure for Civil Appeals
After an Appeal is filed, the appellant must file a certificate of service (under rule 17) of the Notice of Appeal and apply to the Registrar to fix an amount of security to be given by the Appellant for the prosecution of the Appeal.
If the security is not deposited in the Court within the time specified by the Registrar, the Appeal is deemed to have been abandoned.
In that case the Appellant gets another opportunity to file a fresh appeal within the time specified for filing an appeal from a final or interlocutory judgment.
Failure to file the second Appeal within the prescribed time means that no Appeal can be filed except with the leave of the Court.
If all rules are complied with, the Record of Appeal will be prepared, the matter will be listed for a call over and a hearing date is assigned and submissions ordered.
Abandonment of Appeal
Any Civil Appeal filed stands to be abandoned by the court registry if the Appellant fails to comply with Rules as prescribed by the Court of Appeal Act and Rules, from the time of initiation of appeal.
Initiation of Criminal Appeals
Appeals in criminal cases from the High Court shall be filed within 30 days from the date of conviction or decision.
Criminal Appeal – Right of Appeal
A person convicted of an offence may appeal to this Court:
Against conviction on any ground of appeal which involves a question of law alone.
With the leave of the court or upon the certificate of the Judge who tried him/her that it is a fit case for Appeal against his conviction on any ground of appeal which involves a question of fact alone or a question of mixed fact and law or any other ground which appears to the Court to be a sufficient grounds of appeal.
With the leave of the Court against the sentence passed on his conviction unless the sentence is one fixed by law.
The State on a trial before the High Court may appeal:
Against the acquittal of any person on any ground of appeal which involves a question of law alone.
With the leave of the Court of Appeal against the acquittal on any ground which involves a question of fact alone or a question of mixed law and fact.
With the leave of the Court against the sentence passed on the conviction, unless the sentence is one fixed by law.
Powers of a Single Judge of Appeal in Criminal matters
Give leave to appeal to the Full Court.
Extend time to file Notice of Appeal/Leave to appeal.
Admit an appellant to bail/cancel bail.
Dismiss an application under Section 35(2).
Application to the Full Court
If the single Judge of Appeal refuses an application on the part of the Appellant, the Appellant may have the appeal determined by the full Court.
The decision of a single Judge to cancel bail may at the Appellant’s request be reviewed by the full court.
Appeals from the High Court in its Appellate Jurisdiction
Any party to an appeal from the Magistrates Court to the High court may appeal against the decision of the High Court to the Court of Appeal on any ground which involves a question of law alone, provided that no appeal shall lie against the confirmation by the High Court of a verdict of acquittal by a Magistrate’s Court.
No appeal shall also lie in respect of sentence imposed by the High Court in its appellate jurisdiction unless the appeal is on the ground:
That the sentence was an unlawful one or was assessed in consequence of an error in law; or
That the High Court imposed an immediate custodial sentence n substitute or a non-custodial one.
Procedure in Criminal
Once an appeal is filed at the court registry, a certificate of service must be filed within 7 days of service of the notice of appeal upon the respondent.
If the above is not complied with, the appeal is deemed to be abandoned. A fresh appeal can be filed within 3 months of the date of abandonment.
If all the rules are complied with, preparation of the record takes place. In the case if an Appellant in person and is in prison, the registry prepares the record; in all other cases the Appellant prepares the record.
The matter is then listed for a call over and date for hearing before the full Court is assigned.
Judges of Court of Appeal
Hon. Mr. Justice Eric Basnayake
Hon. Mr. Justice Susantha Lecamwasam
Hon. Mr. Justice Almeida Guneratne
Hon. Mr. Justice Suhada Gamalath
Hon. Mr. Justice Chandana Prematilaka
Hon. Mr. Justice Anthony Fernando
Hon. Madam Justice Farzana Jameel
Hon. Mr. Justice Wasantha Bandara
Hon. Mr. Justice Priyantha Nawana
Hon. Mr. Justice Viraj Dayaratne
Hon. Mr. Justice Arjuna Obeyesekere
The Court consists of a President (who must be a Judge), a Resident Justices of Appeal, Judges appointed to the Court of Appeal panel (visiting judges) and other Puisne Judges of the High Court.
Calendar to be updated here when dates are confirmed.
Civil Appeals Fee(s) [VIP]
On filing a notice of appeal from any decision, final or interlocutory (this fee includes the fees for setting down, notice of hearing and hearing) $218.00
On filing an application for – $54.50
leave to appeal;
enlargement of time;
fixing or dispensing with security;
leave to amend;
directions for service;
stay of execution; or
any other interim order
On filing a respondent’s notice (including a cross-appeal) $54.50
For supplying a photocopy of any document, per page $1.10
Supplying a typed, carbon or duplicated copy $1.10
For supplying a typed, carbon or duplicated copy of judgment,
order, decree, document or proceedings, per page
For a copy, other than a photocopy, in a foreign Language or
for a copy of a plan, map, section, drawing, photograph or
diagram. The reasonable cost thereof as certified by the Chief
For supplying a transcript of the Judge’s notes of proceeding per typed page $5.45
For certifying any copy, per page (with a minimum fee of $1 and maximum fee of $20) $0.22
On any certificate by the Registrar (other than certification of a copy or of taxed costs) $5.45
On filing a bill of costs and obtaining an appointment to tax –
For a bill not exceeding $100……. $21.80
For a bill exceeding $100 but not exceeding $200…..$32.70
For a bill exceeding $200……$43.60
(This fee is to be paid on the amount claimed in the bill. No additional
fee is payable for taxation)
Wasted hearing fee –
In court, not exceeding………$218
In Chambers – not exceeding……$54.50
Late filing fee $21.80
Criminal Appeals Fee(s) [VIP]
On filing a notice of appeal (this fee includes the fees for setting down, notice of hearing and hearing) $218.00
On an application for $54.50
leave to appeal;
enlargement of time; or
any other determination under section 35 of the Act
For supplying the photocopy of any document per page $1.10
For supplying a typed, carbon or duplicated copy $0.55
For supplying a typed, carbon or duplicated copy of any
judgment, order, decree, document or proceedings – per page
(with minimum fee of $0.50)
For a copy, other than a photocopy, in a foreign language or for
a copy of a plan, map, section, drawing, photograph or
The reasonable cost thereof as certified by the Chief Registrar
For supplying a transcript of the Judge’s notes of proceedings per typed page $4.35
For certifying any copy, per page (with minimum fee of $1.00 and a maximum fee of $20.00) $0.22