Winning a De Novo Appeal: Explaining the Success of Criminal Appellants in New South Wales
18 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2010 Last revised: 23 Feb 2010
Date Written: March 20, 2003
While society’s most pressing socio-legal questions may be addressed mostly at the high court levels, the decisions of lower court judges are also important – especially if you happen to be a criminal defendant. Lower court judges are at least partially unconstrained by law and precedent (Mather 1991). Thus, there may be non-legal considerations that combine with matters of fact and law to help shape the decisions of lower court judges in a given set of circumstances (Jacob 1991). There is currently very little research on the influence of such factors on lower courts in Australia. Using a logistic regression technique, the nature of these considerations in state district court de novo criminal appeals is analyzed. The results show that both legal and demographic factors help to explain the outcomes on appeal for particular criminal defendants in the New South Wales District Court.
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