Patrick Megaro

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Appeals Law Group
Criminal Defense Attorneys
33 E Robinson St Suite 210 Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 255-2165

Appellate courts and other systems of error correction have existed for millennia. During the first dynasty of Babylon, Hammurabi and his governors served as the highest appellate courts of the land. Ancient Roman law employed a complex hierarchy of appellate courts, where some appeals would be heard by the emperor. Additionally, appellate courts have existed in Japan since at least the Kamakura Shogunate (1185–1333 CE). During this time, the Shogunate established hikitsuke, a high appellate court to aid the state in adjudicating lawsuits.In the Eighteenth century, William Blackstone observed in his Commentaries on the Laws of England that appeals existed as a form of error correction in the common law during the reign of Edward III of England.

Although some scholars argue that "the right to appeal is itself a substantive liberty interest," the notion of a right to appeal is a relatively recent advent. Common law jurisdictions were particularly "slow to incorporate a right to appeal into either its civil or criminal jurisprudence." For example, the United States first created a system of federal appellate courts in 1789, but a federal right to appeal did not exist in the United States until 1889, when Congress passed the Judiciary Act to permit appeals in capital cases. Two years later, the right to appeals was extended to other criminal cases, and the United States Courts of Appeals were established to review decisions from district courts. Some states, such as Minnesota, still do not formally recognize a right to criminal appeals.

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