PRACTICE DIRECTION 52A – APPEALS
This Practice Direction supplements CPR Part 52
Contents of this Practice Direction
This Practice Direction is divided into the following sections –
Section I – Practice Directions supplementing Part 52
Section II –Introduction
Section III – Destinations of Appeal
Section IV – Obtaining permission to appeal
Section V – Skeleton arguments
Section VI – Disposing of applications and appeals by consent
Section VII – Reopening appeals
Section VIII – Transitional provisions
1.1 There are five Practice Directions supplementing Part 52 –
- PD 52A – Appeals: general provisions
- PD 52B – Appeals in the county courts and the High Court
- PD 52C – Appeals to the Court of Appeal
- PD 52D – Statutory appeals and appeals subject to special provision
- PD 52E – Appeals by way of case stated
2.1 These Practice Directions apply to all appeals to which Part 52 applies.
2.2 Part 52 complements the provisions of sections 54 to 57 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 and provides a uniform procedure for appeals in the county courts and the High Court and a modified procedure for the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal. Part 52 does not apply to –
(a) family proceedings in the High Court or county courts but does apply to appeals to the Court of Appeal from decisions made in family proceedings with such modifications as may be required;
(b) appeals in detailed assessment proceedings against the decision of an authorised court officer.
3.1 Section 56 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 enables the Lord Chancellor to specify the destinations of appeal in different cases. The Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destinations of Appeal) Order 2016 specifies the general destinations of appeal which apply subject to any statutory provision to the contrary. Appeals in respect of individual insolvency and corporate insolvency proceedings are specified in section 375 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and rule 7.47 of the Insolvency Rules 1986 respectively.
The destinations of appeal provided by these provisions are explained in the following paragraphs of this section of this Practice Direction.
3.2 ‘Statutory appeals’ and ‘Appeals by way of case stated’ are dealt with in PD52D – refer to those provisions for the appropriate court to which such an appeal may lie.
3.3 The court or judge to which an appeal is to be made (subject to obtaining any necessary permission) is set out in the tables below–
Table 1 deals with appeals in proceedings other than family and insolvency proceedings;
Table 2 deals with appeals in insolvency proceedings; and
Table 3 deals with appeals in family proceedings which may be heard in the Family Division and to which the CPR may apply.
3.4 Definitions of terms and abbreviations used in Tables 1, 2 and 3 –
‘Destination’: the court to which the appeal lies.
‘DJ’: District judge.
‘CJ’: Circuit judge including a recorder or a district judge who is exercising the jurisdiction of a Circuit judge with the permission of the Designated Civil Judge in respect of the case.
‘CJ (CC)’: Circuit judge in the county court.
‘Master’: Master, district judge sitting in a district registry or any other judge referred to in article 4 of the Destination of Appeals Order.
‘HCJ’: single judge of the High Court.
‘HCJ(FD)’: single judge of the family Division of the High Court.
‘CA’: Court of Appeal.
‘Companies Acts’ means the Companies Act 1985, the Companies Act 1989 and the Companies Act 2006.
Registrar’: a Registrar in Bankruptcy, including a salaried or fee paid Registrar in Bankruptcy
(Note: Tables 1, 2 and 3 do not include so-called ‘leap frog’ appeals either to the Court of Appeal pursuant to section 57 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 or to the Supreme Court pursuant to section 13 of the Administration of Justice Act 1969.)
3.5 The destinations in the tables set out below apply in relation to first appeals, whether the decision is interim or final.
(For a second appeal (an appeal from a decision of the County Court or the High Court which was itself made on appeal), the destination is the Court of Appeal (save where the original decision was a decision of an officer authorised to assess costs by the Lord Chancellor: see article 6 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) Order 2016).)
Table 1 – Proceedings other than family or insolvency proceedings
|Court||Deciding judge||Decision under appeal||Destination|
|County||DJ||Any, other than a decision in non-insolvency|
proceedings brought pursuant to the Companies Acts
|A decision in non-insolvency proceedings brought pursuant to the Companies Acts||HCJ or Registrar|
|High||Master, Registrar or DJ||Any||HCJ|
Property Enterprise Court
Table 2 – Insolvency proceedings
|Corporate insolvency||HCJ or|
|High||Master, Registrar or DJ||Any||HCJ|
Table 3 – Family proceedings in the Principal Registry of the Family Division and to which the CPR will apply
The proceedings to which this table applies include proceedings under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and proceedings under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
|Deciding judge||Decision under appeal||Destination|
(1) Where a party attempts to file an appellant’s notice in a court which does not have jurisdiction to issue the notice, a court officer may notify that party in writing that the appeal court does not have jurisdiction in respect of the notice.
(2) Before notifying a person under paragraph (1) the court officer must confer –
(a) with a judge of the appeal court; or
(b) where the Court of Appeal is the appeal court, with a court officer who exercises the jurisdiction of that Court under rule 52.24.
(3) Where a court officer, in the Court of Appeal, notifies a person under paragraph (1), rule 52.24(5) and (6) shall not apply.
4.A1 Definitions of terms used in this Section—
‘heard’: in the context of an application, includes dealing with that application on paper as well as orally.
‘Group A Judge’: a High Court Judge or a person authorised under paragraphs (1), (2) or (4) of the Table in section 9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 to act as a judge of the High Court.
‘Group B Judge’: any person who is not a Group A Judge but who is authorised under section 9 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 to act as a judge of the High Court.
‘Group C Judge’: a person authorised under paragraphs (4A) or (5) of the Table in section 9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 to act as a judge of the High Court.
‘Group D Judge’: a person authorised under paragraph (6) of the Table in section 9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 or section 9(4) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 to act as a judge of the High Court.
‘Registrar’: a Registrar in Bankruptcy, including a salaried or fee paid Registrar in Bankruptcy.
‘The Appropriate Presiding or Supervising Judge’ means the relevant Supervising judge of the Business and Property Courts or relevant Presiding judge of the Queen’s Bench Division, and includes the Chancellor of the High Court, the Judge in Charge of the Queen’s Bench List, and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.
4.1 An application for permission to appeal may be made–
(a) to the lower court at the hearing at which the decision to be appealed against is given (in which case the lower court may adjourn the hearing to give a party an opportunity to apply for permission to appeal); or
(b) where the lower court refuses permission to appeal or where no application is made to the lower court, to the appeal court in accordance with rule 52.12.
4.2 An application for permission to appeal to the appeal court must be made using an appellant’s notice (form N161 or N164 (small claims track)).
4.3 In relation to appeals from Masters—
(a) applications for permission to appeal must be heard by a Group A Judge;
(b) if permission to appeal is given, the appeal may be heard by a Group A Judge or a Group B Judge authorised to hear the appeal by the Judge in Charge of the Queen’s Bench List or the Chancellor of the High Court.
4.3A In relation to appeals from Registrars: applications for permission to appeal and appeals must be heard by a Group A Judge.
4.3B In relation to appeals from District Judges of the High Court:
(a) applications for permission to appeal must be heard by a Group A Judge;
(b) if permission to appeal is given, the appeal may be heard by either:
(i) a Group A Judge;
(ii) a Group C Judge sitting in the High Court; or
(iii) in exceptional circumstances, a Group D Judge authorised to hear the appeal by the Appropriate Presiding or Supervising Judge.
4.4 Where the lower court is the County Court—
(a) subject to sub-paragraph (b)—
(i) applications for permission to appeal must be heard by a Group A Judge;
(ii) if permission to appeal is given:
(A)where the appeal is from a Recorder, the appeal may be heard by either a Group A Judge or, in exceptional circumstances, a Group C Judge authorised to hear the appeal by the Appropriate Presiding or Supervising Judge;
(B)in all other cases, the appeal may be heard by either a Group A Judge or, in exceptional circumstances, a Group D Judge authorised to hear the appeal by the Appropriate Presiding or Supervising Judge.
(b) where the appeal is from a District Judge in proceedings brought pursuant to the Companies Acts, an appeal to the High Court will be dealt with as follows—
(i) applications for permission to appeal must be heard in accordance with the following provisions:
(A)if the appeal centre is the RCJ, by a salaried Registrar in Bankruptcy; or
(B)in any other appeal centre, by a Group C Judge or Group A Judge provided that the judge is one who could hear the appeal in accordance with sub-paragraph (iii).
(ii) for appeals in which the appeal centre is the RCJ: appeals must be heard by a Registrar;
(iii) for appeals in any other appeal centre: appeals may be heard by a Group A Judge or a Group B Judge, provided that—
(A) the Group A Judge is a judge of allocated to the Insolvency and Companies List of the Business and Property Courts or is authorised by the Chancellor of the High Court to hear the appeal;
(B) if the Group B judge is a Group D Judge, they have been authorised by the Supervising Judge of the Business and Property Courts to hear the appeal;
(C) if the Group B Judge is a Group C Judge, they have appropriate authorisation.
(Note: the Practice Direction Insolvency Proceedings makes provision for obtaining permission to appeal and allocation of appeals in insolvency proceedings.)
Appeals within the County Court
4.5 The Designated Civil Judge in consultation with the appropriate Presiding or Supervising Judge has responsibility for allocating appeals from decisions of District Judges in the County Court to Circuit Judges and/or Recorders. Such an appeal may only be allocated to a Recorder in exceptional circumstances.
Applications within appeals to the High Court and within the County Court
4.5A Applications within appeals other than applications for permission to appeal but including applications for a stay of execution, may be heard and directions in the appeal given, by any judge who may hear the appeal, could be authorised to hear the appeal, or to whom the appeal could be allocated.
4.6 Where the application is for permission to appeal from a case management decision, the court dealing with the application may take into account whether –
(a) the issue is of sufficient significance to justify the costs of an appeal;
(b) the procedural consequences of an appeal (e.g. loss of trial date) outweigh the significance of the case management decision;
(c) it would be more convenient to determine the issue at or after trial.
Case management decisions include decisions made under rule 3.1(2) and decisions about disclosure, filing of witness statements or experts’ reports, directions about the timetable of the claim, adding a party to a claim and security for costs.
4.7 An application for permission to appeal from a decision of the High Court or a county court which was itself made on appeal is a second appeal and must be made to the Court of Appeal. If permission to appeal is granted the appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal.
(1) The purpose of a skeleton argument is to assist the court by setting out as concisely as practicable the arguments upon which a party intends to rely.
(2) A skeleton argument must–
- be concise;
- both define and confine the areas of controversy;
- be set out in numbered paragraphs;
- be cross-referenced to any relevant document in the bundle;
- be self-contained and not incorporate by reference material from previous skeleton arguments;
- not include extensive quotations from documents or authorities.
(3) Documents to be relied on must be identified.
(4) Where it is necessary to refer to an authority, a skeleton argument must –
(a) state the proposition of law the authority demonstrates; and
(b) identify the parts of the authority that support the proposition.
If more than one authority is cited in support of a given proposition, the skeleton argument must briefly state why.
(5) The cost of preparing a skeleton argument which –
(a) does not comply with the requirements set out in this paragraph; or
(b) was not filed within the time limits provided by this Practice Direction (or any further time granted by the court),
will not be allowed on assessment except as directed by the court.
5.2 The parties should consider what other information the appeal court will need. This may include a list of persons who feature in the case or glossaries of technical terms. A chronology of relevant events will be necessary in most appeals.
5.3 Any statement of costs must show the amount claimed for the skeleton argument separately.
6.1 An appellant who does not wish to pursue an application or appeal may request the appeal court to dismiss the application or the appeal. If such a request is granted it will usually be subject to an order that the appellant pays the costs of the application or appeal.
6.2 If the appellant wishes to have the application or appeal dismissed without costs, his request must be accompanied by a letter signed by the respondent stating that the respondent so consents.
6.3 Where a settlement has been reached disposing of the application or appeal, the parties may make a joint request to the court for the application or appeal to be dismissed by consent. If the request is granted the application or appeal will be dismissed.
6.4 The appeal court will not normally make an order allowing an appeal unless satisfied that the decision of the lower court was wrong or unjust because of a serious procedural or other irregularity. The appeal court may, however, set aside or vary the order of the lower court by consent and without determining the merits of the appeal if it is satisfied that there are good and sufficient reasons for so doing. Where the appeal court is requested by all parties to allow an application or an appeal the court may consider the request on the papers. The request should set out the relevant history of the proceedings and the matters relied on as justifying the order and be accompanied by a draft order.
6.5 Where one of the parties is a child or protected party, any disposal of an application or the appeal requires the court’s approval. A draft order signed by the parties’ solicitors should be sent to the appeal court, together with an opinion from the advocate acting on behalf of the child or protected party and, in the case of a protected party, any relevant documents prepared for the Court of Protection.
7.1 A party applying for permission to reopen an appeal or an application for permission to appeal must apply for such permission from the court whose decision the party wishes to reopen.
7.2 The application for permission must be made by application notice and be supported by written evidence, verified by a statement of truth. A copy of the application for permission must not be served on any other party to the original appeal unless the court so directs.
7.3 Where the court directs that the application for permission is to be served on another party, that party may, within 14 days of the service on him of the copy of the application, file and serve a written statement either supporting or opposing the application.
7.4 The application for permission will be considered on paper by a single judge.
8.1 This Practice Direction and Practice Directions 52B, 52C, 52D and 52E shall come into force on 1 October 2012 and shall apply to all appeals where –
(a) the appeal notice was filed; or
(b) permission to appeal was given
on or after that date.
8.2 The appeal court may at any time direct that, in relation to any appeal, one or more of Practice Directions 52A, 52B, 52C, 52D or 52E shall apply irrespective of the date on which the appeal notice was filed or permission to appeal was given.