Victoria's Court of Appeal is weathering more criticism, with a report noting a sharp increase in its criminal judgments overturned by the High Court.
The report, by former Victorian chief crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert QC, puts the spotlight on how the court's judgments under current president Justice Chris Maxwell have fared at Australia's High Court.
The Hon Chris Maxwell was sworn in as president of the Court of Appeal in 2005 and remains in office.
"Between 2006 and 2019 ... the Victorian Court of Appeal cast off its near-perfect record for being upheld," the report stated.
But Mr Silbert also notes that it is impossible to directly compare the two courts given the many changes to each over the last 24 years.
The research for the report, published by the Australian Law Council covered the first 24 years of the Victorian Court of Appeal, to 2019.
The report did not include April's 7-0 High Court ruling, where Cardinal George Pell's child-sex convictions were quashed and he was released from jail.
The Court of Appeal has come in for plenty of criticism since the High Court's Pell judgment.
The Victorian Court of Appeal was established in 1995, replacing the Full Court of the Supreme Court, which Mr Silbert said "had an outstanding reputation as a court of criminal appeal".
"The first 10 years of the Court of Appeal in its criminal jurisdiction saw its judgments affirmed on 10 occasions and reversed twice by the High Court which disapproved of two authorities," Mr Silbert said.
"The next 14 years have seen the Court of Appeal's judgments reversed 16 times and affirmed on six occasions, with a large number of its decisions criticised, particularly in the area of sentencing."
The report states that between 2006 and June 2019 there were 216 applications for special leave to appeal to the High Court from the Victorian Court of Appeal of which 37 were granted.
"In that period Victoria rose from the lowest number of grants of special leave among the mainland states to second only behind New South Wales on 65," Mr Silbert wrote.
Australian Associated Press