In virtue of Act XXXII of 2021, which came into force on 18th June 2021, a number of amendments dealing with the rules regulating appeals came into place. Nevertheless, it is worth noting, that appeals filed prior to the enactment of such amendments, as well as cases adjourned sine die, are to be regulated by the legislation which was in force at the time of such submission.
Increased Time Limits :
In terms of Article 144(1) and Article 226, the time limit for filing an appeal has been extended from 20 to 30 days from the date of the ruling. The time limit for responding to an appeal has been extended from 20 to 30 days for parties who have been served with a notice of appeal. The time limit for the party against which the cross-appeal has been addressed to file their reply has as well been extended from 20 to 30 days, in the case of a cross-appeal.
New Documents Are Solely Produced by a Court Order :
In terms of Article 144(3), the presentation of new documents before the Court, accompanied by their application, reply, or rejoinder, now requires the permission of the Court.
The Court has the Authority to Order Additional Pleadings :
The changes instituted provide the Court with the right to issue a decree requiring parties to answer any questions it may have, or to clarify any issues that the Court deems essential in virtue of Article 147(2) and (4).
Failure to File Written Pleadings :
Prior to the issuance of the amendments, this provision only enabled the party in default to appear and present their evidence throughout the hearing of the cause. The modification, in terms of Article 153, now specifically states that a party may file a request to be granted the ability to submit written submissions in addition to proof.
Procedure for Appellate Court Trials :
Article 207 of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure has been updated. Unless the Court schedules a hearing to hear oral submissions, or evidence, from the parties, all proceedings must be performed in writing. An additional exception to the general practice of written procedures is that if no oral hearing was held at first instance, an oral hearing will be scheduled before the Court of Appeal. The appellant has 30 days to submit a rejoinder in which they can outline the issues addressed for the first time within the response to the appeal application.
Author: Maila Cimino