Every decree may be appealed from unless barred by some law.  However an appeal does not automatically lie against every order.  Order 43 Rule 1 gives a long list of orders from which an appeal lies from as of right.

If you want to appeal on an order that is not on the list, you have to seek leave of court.  When you have a judgment you extract a decree.  Orders are gotten from small interim applications.

You can appeal against an order.

Amendments of pleadings, appeals lie as of right.  Judgement in default is appeallable.

For example the Armed Forces Act if you have a decision you can appeal to the High Court.  High court used to be the final court for petitions but now you can go to the court of appeal

Application for leave to Appeal should be made in the first instance to the court which made the order that is being sought to be appealed against.  It should be made by Chamber Summons or orally in court at the time of making the order.

Appeals generally or the hierarchy of appeal

An appeal from the subordinate Courts
Appeals from the Resident Magistrate’s court lie to the High Court.  Appeals from the High Court lie to the court of Appeal. Appeals from the Court of Appeal lie to the Supreme Court.

Appeals from the subordinate courts are heard by one judge of the high court except in certain particular cases where the Chief Justice can direct that the appeal be heard by two or more judges.  Such directions may also be given by the Chief Justice before the hearing of an appeal or at any time before the judgment is received.

Where there are two judges and they disagree, where an appeal is heard by a court consisting of two or more judges, the appeal should be decided in accordance with the decisions of the majority of the judges.  Under Section 69 and Order 42 rule 30, where an appeal is heard by a court consisting of two or more judges the appeal shall be decided in accordance with the opinion of the judges or a majority of them.
In a case of two judges with a divided opinion, the appeal should be reheard and to prevent that they normally put an uneven number of the Judges on the bench. 

When a decision has failed to determine some material issues of the law.
It also has something to say where it was alleged that there was substantial error or defect in the procedure.


Appeals from the High Court are filed by lodging a memorandum of appeal which is usually set out in the same manner as pleadings.  The grounds are set out in separate paragraphs and numbered consecutively and normally the ground will indicate the reasons why you object to the decision of the court. It is very important to make sure that your grounds are set out comprehensively because you will not be able to make submissions on any grounds not set out in your memorandum of appeal. You would have to seek the leave of the court to submit on a new ground.  The court has discretionary powers and can deny you to do that.

The detailed format on how to prepare a memorandum of appeal is set on in Sections 65-69 and in order 42.  Section 65-69 enact the substantive law as regards fast appeals while order 42 lays down the procedure relating to it.  The expression appeal and the expression memorandum of appeal denote two distinct things.  The Appeal is a judicial examination by the higher court of the decision of a lower court.  Whereas the memorandum of appeal contains the grounds on which the judicial examination is invited.

In order for an Appeal to be said to be validly presented, the following requirements must be complied with
1.            It must be in the form of a memorandum setting forth the grounds on which one objects to the decree.
2.            It must be in the format and present as a record of Appeal.
3.            It must be signed by the Appellant or their Agent.
4.            It must be presented to the Court or to such officer as appointed by the court.
5.            The Memorandum must be accompanied by a certified copy of the decree.
6.            It must be accompanied by a certified copy of the judgment unless the court dispenses with it.
7.            Where the Appeal is against a money decree the Appellant must deposit the decretal amount or furnish the security if required by the court.


A Memorandum of Appeal should be prepared by carefully considering the following:-
1.            The Pleadings;
2.            The Issues – issues substantially in issue
3.            The Findings thereon;
4.            The Judgment and the decree and also the record of proceeding in court.  (the judge erred and misdirected himself in issues raised before him)

You can only appeal on one issue.  Suppose the court finds you negligent and thus liable.  You can appeal on the ground of damages and say for instance that the judge erred in assigning the quantum of damages.


The Appeal must be presented within a prescribed time. If the limitation period for filing an Appeal has expired, you can apply for an extension of time to file the appeal. 

Read the Appellate Jurisdiction Act (Court of Appeal Rules)


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