This practice direction has been revoked with effect from 21 September 2015.

See: No. 1 of 2015 - Revocation of Directions Relevant to Appeals


The Family Law Rules 2004 commence on 29 March 2004. It is timely that the Practice Directions of the Court relating to Appeals be reviewed.

Revocation of Practice Directions superseded by the Family Law Rules 2004 and this Practice Direction
The following Practice Directions are revoked from 29 March 2004:

Direction No.          Title

No 5 of 1990          Order 24 Conferences in Appeals
No 6 of 1990          Appeals
No 1 of 1993          Applications for Leave to Appeal
No 2 of 1997          Transcript on Appeals
No 2 of 1999          General Timetable of an Appeal: Summary of Argument and List of Authorities
No 1 of 2003          Suspension of operation of appeal rules

Practice Direction - consolidation of matters relevant to Appeals
The following Practice Direction takes effect from 29 March 2004:


1. Transcript in Appeals
In the interests of reducing the costs of litigation, parties should include only those portions of the transcript which are necessary for the proper conduct of the appeal. To this end, at the procedural hearing or appointment to settle the appeal book index, the Judge or Regional Appeal Registrar will inquire of the parties what portions of the transcript need be included. In circumstances where the parties or either of them and the Regional Appeal Registrar are not in agreement, and the Regional Appeal Registrar is of the view that only one or more portions of the transcript is necessary, or the parties are in agreement but the Regional Appeal Registrar disagrees, the matter will be referred to a single Judge of the Appeal Division for procedural orders.

Parties and their lawyers are advised that in order to comply with Chapter 22 of the Family Law Rules 2004, the transcript must have been prepared by the contractor providing services to the court from which the appeal originates.

2. Summary of Argument
The Summary of Argument prepared by each party pursuant to Rule 22.26 should set out in numbered paragraphs:

(a) an outline of each contention of law or fact to be relied upon in no more than one or two sentences, being sufficient only to identify each point, not to argue it or elaborate upon it;
(b) all necessary references to the appeal book, statutes, principal authorities and affidavits;
(c) where necessary a list of the dramatis personae and a glossary of terms;
(d) a reference to any extrinsic material to which it is intended to refer (see section 15AB of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901) together with copies of such material.

The Summary of Argument must address the grounds of appeal identified in the Notice of Appeal and Notice of Cross-Appeal if applicable;

The Summary will not in any way inhibit the development of argument; it may be departed from if counsel sees it as necessary to do so.

Counsel for the appellant (or the appellant who is self-represented), in opening the appeal, should assume that members of the Bench have read the judgment of the Court below, the Notice of Appeal, the Notice of Cross-Appeal if applicable and any Summary of Argument filed within time.

3. List of Authorities
The list of authorities prepared by each party pursuant to Rule 22.26 should be divided into two parts.

  • Part 1 should contain only those authorities which counsel (or the self represented party) definitely intends to cite in submissions before the Court.
  • Part 2 should contain those authorities which counsel (or the self represented party) considers might be called for during the course of the appeal, but which counsel (or the self represented party) does not intend to cite.

4. Unreported Judgments
Unreported judgments may be cited in the Full Court only with permission.

Permission will be given only if the Court is satisfied that the unreported judgment contains a relevant statement of principle not available in any reported decisions or which is binding on the Court or of persuasive authority, and prior notice of intention to rely upon such judgments has been given to the other party.

Applications may be made at the hearing provided that at least 2 clear days notice of intention to cite the judgment (together with a copy thereof) is given to all other parties to the appeal and to the Regional Appeal Registrar (together with 4 copies thereof).

5. Notice of points of appeal abandoned
It is expected that counsel for the appellant or cross-appellant (or the self represented appellant or cross-appellant) should give to all other parties, in good time before the hearing of an appeal, notice of any points of appeal abandoned

6. Chronology
It is expected that counsel for the appellant (or self represented appellant), as he or she commences argument, will hand to each member of the Bench (and pass to all other counsel or self represented parties appearing) a typewritten chronology of the facts of the case, in all cases where the nature or complexity of the case makes such a chronology appropriate.

The parties to the appeal, if possible, shall agree on a chronology before the hearing commences.

Practice Direction 2004/7, 17 March 2004, issued by 
the Hon. Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson AO RFD