All criminal prosecutions are initiated in the District Court with the exception of certain offences dealt with by the Special Criminal Court (generally offences against the State).

Decisions of the District Court can be appealed to the Circuit Court with some exceptions (e.g. an order dismissing a complaint and directing the complainant to pay costs; or a refusal to grant legal aid).  The appeal is a rehearing of the matter before the Circuit Court.

How to appeal a decision of the District Court

You should lodge the notice of appeal together with a statutory declaration of service with the District Court Clerk in the court area where the decision was made within 14 days of the date of the decision.  If the judge orders that money be lodged with the appeal you must lodge the money with the appeal documents.

How to extend time to lodge an appeal if not lodged within 14 days

You can apply to the District Court for an extension of time to lodge the appeal.  You must notify the prosecutor in the matter of your intention to apply for an extension of time.

How to set appeal bail/recognisance

Appeal bail is generally set during the hearing of the case.  If it is not, you can apply ex-parte (i.e. without giving notice to the other party) to the court to set appeal bail to enable you lodge an appeal.

The form of recognisance serves to stay the execution (operation) of the District Court order.  For example, if you are disqualified from driving by the District Court and an appeal is not lodged within 14 days of the date of the decision, you are automatically disqualified from the 15th day.

You can apply to the court for an application to set appeal bail to lodge an appeal after the 14th day from the date of the decision.