Procedure where Judges of Court of Appeal are equally divided


When the judges of a Court of Appeal are equally divided in their opinions on a case, typically referred to as a “split decision” or a “divided court,” different jurisdictions have different procedures to resolve the impasse. The specific rules and procedures may vary depending on the country and its legal system. Here are a few general approaches that can be followed:

  1. Recusal of Judges: In some cases, if the judges are equally divided, one or more judges may choose to recuse themselves from the case. This can be done voluntarily to prevent a deadlock or conflict of interest. Once recused, the remaining judges can continue to deliberate and reach a majority decision.
  2. Presiding Judge’s Casting Vote: In certain jurisdictions, the presiding judge or the Chief Justice of the court may have the authority to cast a decisive vote when there is an equal division among the judges. The presiding judge’s decision will then become the majority opinion.
  3. Retrial or Rehearing: In situations where the judges cannot reach a majority decision, the case may be retried or reheard before a different panel of judges. This allows for a fresh review and analysis of the case by a new set of judges, who may then reach a majority decision.
  4. Appeal to a Higher Court: If the Court of Appeal cannot reach a majority decision, the parties involved in the case may have the option to appeal to a higher court. The higher court can then review the case and provide a final decision, resolving the deadlock.

It’s important to note that the exact procedures and options available can vary depending on the legal system and the specific rules of the jurisdiction in question. It is recommended to consult the relevant laws, rules, and regulations governing the Court of Appeal in a particular country or jurisdiction for more accurate and detailed information.

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