Can final and interim decisions be appealed? If so, to which court(s) and within what timescale?
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
A clear distinction is made between awards and decisions under Swedish law. An award is a court’s determination on the merits of the matter at issue. The determination of any other matter is a decision. A decision wherein the court disassociates itself from the matter at issue (i.e. without referring to the merits) is a final decision, e.g. when a case is dismissed because of res judicata. Any other decisions are known as interim decisions (Sw. beslut under rättegång), e.g. dismissal of evidence or an order to produce documents.
All awards and decisions rendered by a district court can be appealed to a court of appeal, but a leave to appeal is required. A leave to appeal will be granted if any of the following conditions apply;
(i) there is reason to believe that the district court has come to an erroneous conclusion;
(ii) it is not possible to assess the correctness of the district court’s award or decision;
(iii) it is of importance to establish an award that may provide guidance to Swedish courts; or
(iv) any other extraordinary reason.
Awards and decisions from a court of appeal can in turn be appealed to the Supreme Court but leave to appeal is granted in few cases since the conditions under items (i) and (ii) above do not apply.
The rules on deadlines for appeals are complex, but many appeals must be made within three weeks after the award or decision is rendered. Certain interim decisions can only be appealed when the court disassociates itself from the matter at issue (either by award or final decision) while others can be appealed immediately.
Appeals under Portuguese jurisdiction must fulfil certain initial requirements related to the amount of the claim and the burden of loss.
Taking these factors into account, final decisions can be appealed to the respective higher court (e.g. a decision of a first instance court must be appealed to the court of appeal – Tribunal da Relação) and, depending on the type of process or the grounds of the decision, within a period of between 15 to 30 days, counting from the date the decision was notified to the parties.
Not all Interim decisions can be appealed, but if the appeal is allowed, it must be presented within 15 days counting from the date when the decision was notified.
Final and interim decisions can, in most cases, be appealed to the same court or to the Court of Appeal or Cassation depending on the decision.
For example, the judgment issued by the Court of First Instance is appealed before the Court of Appeal within 30 days, and the judgment issued by the Court of Appeal is appealed before the Court of Cassation within 60 days.
This may differ from case to case depending on the value of the claim and other factors.
When courts or tribunals render a judgment or make an order, the parties are asked whether they agree with the decision. The party who objects may file an application for review with the competent appeal tribunal within 30 days from receipt of the written judgment. At this stage, the appeals tribunal reviews the case file and judgment without the parties’ presence. If the appeals tribunal considers the objection unjustified, the judgment is stamped final and enforceable and returned to the court at first instance.
If the appeals tribunal considers the objection justified, it issues specific directions, for example that the first instance tribunal must ascertain additional facts, or that it must reconsider the facts in light of a ruling on procedure or evidence made by the appeal tribunal. It is not unusual for additional hearings to take place, at which the parties are asked to make further submissions. Once the tribunal at first instance is satisfied that it has carried out the appeal tribunal’s directions, it issues a new judgment. It is then open for the losing party to raise further objections.
If the appeal tribunal forms the opinion that the tribunal at first instance is not able or willing to carry out its directions, it can issue its own judgment. There is no specific rule when this point is reached, although most commonly this is after the second judgment is issued. Once the appeal tribunal decides to take over the case, it must invite argument from both parties before issuing its judgment. Decisions of the appeal tribunal are final.
All district court judgements and most interim decisions can be appealed to the court of appeal. The general time limit for submitting an appeal is one month.
Final and interim decisions of the federal district courts can be appealed to a federal court of appeals. Final decisions are appealable automatically (as of right), and notice of appeal must be given within 30 days after entry of the district court’s judgment. Generally, interim decisions are appealable if a district court judge indicates that the decision involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion, and that an immediate appeal from the decision may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation. The federal court of appeals has the discretion to hear those interim appeals. Other interim decisions, such as those granting, continuing, modifying, refusing or dissolving injunctions, are appealable as of right and do not require approval from the district court or the court of appeals.
Decisions by the federal courts of appeals can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Generally, there is no right of appeal to the Supreme Court. However, a party may file a petition for a writ of certiorari requesting that the Supreme Court review the circuit court’s decision, and the Supreme Court may grant or deny the petition at its discretion. A petition for a writ of certiorari must be filed within 90 days after entry of the lower court’s judgment.
State court appellate procedures vary by jurisdiction. However, certain decisions by the courts of last resort in any state may be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Austrian Code of Civil Procedure provides for two appeal levels. Firstly, to the respective court of appeals and secondly, to the Austrian Supreme Court.
A party may file an ordinary appeal (“Berufung”) against the judgment of a court of first instance within four weeks after said judgment has been served. Depending on which court has decided in the first place, the competent court of appeals is either a regional court or a higher regional court. The opposing party may file a response within four weeks of being served with the appeal.
A party may file a second appeal (“Revision”) against the decision of an appellate court to the Supreme Court within four weeks after service, if a substantial matter is given. This is the case if a substantial question of law, which has not yet been decided by the Supreme Court, is concerned, or if the decision of the appellate court deviates from the Supreme Courts’ existing decision-making practice. Again, the opposing party may respond to this second appeal within four weeks.
In principle, a party may file a complaint (“Rekurs”) or a second complaint (“Revisionsrekurs”) against a court order other than a judgment (“Beschluss”). However, certain court orders can only be contested in conjunction with an appeal against the rendered judgment while some cannot be appealed against at all. Complaints usually have to be filed within 14 days after service. Like second appeals, a second complaint to the Supreme Court is limited to substantial matters.
An interlocutory injunction may be set aside by a complaint or an objection, which has to be filed within 14 days after service.
Other requests for relief from court decisions are known as extraordinary remedies (such as actions for annulment or actions for the reopening of proceedings).