The Judicial Council has published a database of Court of Appeal decisions from 2014 to 2023, but in a format that is a little difficult to interrogate. I’ve taken the data and made it available here in a format that makes it easier to search and analyse.
Note: The database can be viewed, but not searched or analysed, on a mobile phone. For search/analysis tools, please view this page on a device larger than a mobile phone screen.
Notes & Instructions
Contents of Database
The database contains 949 cases, decided between 2014 and 2023, and provides the following data points:
- Case name
- Neutral citation
- Appeal type (eg. severity, leniency, cross-appeal, sentence activation)
- Judge who delivered judgment
- Decision date
- Composition of court (ie. which three judges heard the appeal)
- Result (allow; dismiss; allow partial)
- Decision status (approved or unapproved)
- Link to judgment
Searching & analysing the database (video explainer)
Searching & analysing the database (text instructions)
The following functions are available (except on mobile phone), and can be combined:
Hide Fields: Hide selected columns from the view.
Filter: Add filtering conditions to refine your search. eg. ‘where offence is any of robbery, armed robbery and judgment delivered by Birmingham J. or Birmingham P.’
Group: Group (and sub-group) results by specific criteria. eg. ‘Group by offence type and sub-group by judge delivering judgment’
Sort: Sort results by reference to single or multiple criteria. eg. ‘Sort by offence type (A-Z) and by judge delivering judgment (Z-A)’
Row Height & Print View: Change the height of the rows. Print the current view.
View Larger Version: This link (at bottom right of table container) opens the table in a new window in full size view, giving you a better overview of what you are looking at.
A note on ‘judgment by’
Judge Names: George Birmingham is listed both as ‘Birmingham P.’ and ‘Birmingham J.’. Accordingly, if you are searching for judgements by George Birmingham, you need to search against both search terms.
A note on ‘offences’
This is (as of 12 Nov 2023) a direct reproduction of what is published on the Judicial Council website.
Unfortunately, there are a number of drawbacks to the data that was published by the Judicial Council.
The principal drawback is that there is a lack of consistency in relation to offences. The database published by the Judicial Council uses a variety of terms to describe what appears to by the same type of offence. For example, one ‘assault’ case might be described as ‘S.3 assault’ while the next assault case might be ‘assault causing harm’.
What this means is that, if you are looking for all appeals dealing with assault offences, you are going to have to search the database against multiple terms. Here are some examples:
Assault: The database uses the following terms in relation to assault cases:
- assault causing harm
- serious bodily harm
- threat to kill/assault
- assault causing serious harm
- S.4 assault
- S.3 assault
- assault of peace officer
- possession / supply
- cultivation cannabis
- drug trafficking
- importation of drugs
- importation of drugs/supply
- possession of drugs
- S.15A possession
- S.15 possession
Sex Cases: Again, multiple terms used for cases of a similar nature.
Driving Cases: Ditto.
Theft & Fraud: Ditto
Revenue Offences: Ditto
My solution is to attempt to categorise offences in a better and more meaningful way, while continuing to observe and respect the methodology used by the Judicial Council. See below (next panel).
A note on ‘category’ (added by me)
In light of what I have set out above (A note on ‘offences’) I have sought to organise data into the following categories:
- Sexual Offences
- Misuse of Drugs
- Organised Crime
- Money Laundering
- Business / Corporate
- Theft & Fraud Offences
- NFOAPA 1997
- Criminal Damage
- Public Order
- Road Traffic
- Administration of Justice
Please note that these are my selected categories and they were not contained in the original database published by the Judicial Council.