The Need for an Appeals Process

(This is an archived page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book.  Current versions are at book contents).

There will always be miscarriages of justice no matter how carefully judges are appointed and do their jobs.  The appeals process is a safeguard to protect people, whereby different and more senior judges can either confirm or overturn the decisions of lower courts.  Within a country, appeals can be escalated up through the hierarchy of courts as far as a Supreme Court.

Further safeguards are available by escalating cases to multinational courts, such as the European Court of Justice (, or to global bodies such as the International Court of Justice (  The availability of an appeals process both reduces the likelihood of miscarriages of justice and increases people’s confidence in the system as a whole.