Information about the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary of England and Wales. Read the latest judgments, news and speeches.
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The most obvious way in which individual judges are accountable is through the right of the party to the proceedings to appeal any judicial decision, in some cases through several higher courts. In this way the losing party is able to have the decision reviewed by another independent judge or judges. The court determining an appeal will correct errors by the trial judge and the right of appeal ensures that, as far as possible, courts arrive at correct decisions. The decisions of appellate courts are fully reasoned, widely available and they do not always pull their punches.
The private function is to provide accountability to the individual litigants. The public function is that enabling errors to be corrected maintains and enhances the confidence of citizens in the justice system. Another aspect of the public function is that the appeal court can provide guidance for future cases and thus facilitate certainty. In these ways the right of appeal furthers the rule of law.