Appeals Unit

The Appeals and General Unit is a specialized unit under the National Prosecution Authority. The Unit handles appeal cases in all the appellate courts of Zambia.

The Unit litigates appeals on behalf of the state. The Unit researches briefs and argues matters before appellate Courts. The unit studies judgments passed by courts for potential appellate review and growth of Jurisprudence. The Unit also litigates post-conviction applications such as bail pending appeal, sentences and confirmation matters.

The unit is headed by a Deputy Chief State Advocate. The Unit is staffed with experienced appellate advocates who are skilled at identifying trial and legal issues.  They serve as advisers to trial counsel and act as aggressive advocates for the institution’s legal position in the handling of appellate cases. The advocates in the Unit help the institution formulate legal arguments and strategies, research case precedents and answer complex questions of law. They write opinions and submissions on points of law contested after trial and make those arguments in the appellate Courts. They also advise other state institutions on the merits or demerits of potential appeal cases. The Unit further assists in shaping the law by selecting and pursuing appeals in which the Court needs to interpret certain legislation or give direction on a point the Law.

The aim of the Unit is to ensure that every appeal entered in the appellate Courts is efficiently and efficiently prosecuted to its logical conclusion so that justice is not only done but seen to be done. The unit strives that the quality of the Unit’s advocacy will help the appellate Courts set judicial precedents that will not only dispense justice to the case at hand, but to the criminal justice system as a whole. The unit further strives to be known country wide for excellence of its written and oral advocacy.

 

Appeal sessions

Article 131 of The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act, 2016 created the Court of Appeal. The objective of the Court of Appeal is to hear appeals from the High Court and quasi - judicial bodies. The coming into place of the Court of Appeal has greatly assisted in the timely dispensation of appeal cases.

The Supreme Court building is situated in Lusaka. Be that as it may, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal hold circuit sessions in Kabwe and Ndola to hear appeal cases from all the 10 provinces of Zambia. This is in order to expedite justice delivery. The High Court holds Appeal sessions in Lusaka, Kabwe, Ndola, Kitwe, Mansa, Kasama, Chipata, Solwezi, Mongu, Mazabuka and Livngstone.

 

The appeals Process.

A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Subordinate (Magistrate’s Courts) may appeal to the High Court. A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court may appeal to the Court of Appeal. A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal may appeal to the Supreme Court.

 

Who can appeal?

A person convicted by a Subordinate (Magistrate’s Court) may appeal to the Court of Appeal on a question of law, fact or mixed fact and law. A person convicted by the Court of Appeal can appeal to the Supreme Court on any matter of fact, law or both. The Director of Public Prosecutions if dissatisfied with a judgment of the Subordinate, High or Court of Appeal may appeal against such judgment on a point of law.

 

Powers of an appellate Court

  • An appellate Court has the power to reverse the finding and sentence of the lower Court and acquit or discharge the accused person, or order a retrial.
  • An appellate Court may also alter the finding, maintain the sentence, or, with or without altering the finding reduce or increase the sentence.
  • Further, an appellate Court may alter the nature of the sentence, with or without such reduction or increase, and with or without altering the finding.
  • Furthermore, an appellate Court may quash the sentence passed at trial, and pass such other sentence whether more or less severe.
  • Finally, an appellate Court may dismiss the