Appellate Jurisdiction Law and Legal Definition

Appellate jurisdiction refers to the power of a higher court to review and revise a lower court's decision. Most appellate courts simply review the lower court’s decision to determine whether the lower court made any errors in applying the law.

The appellate process begins after a lower court formally issues a decision in a case. The process is started when one of the parties submits an appeal for review by a court of appellate jurisdiction. The submitting party is referred to as the appellant and the other party is called the appellee or respondent. On appeal, the appellant usually argues that the lower court erred in applying the law or in conducting procedural aspects of the trial.

In the U.S., Art. III, § 2 of the Constitution vests appellate jurisdiction in the Supreme Court, and 28 USCA §§ 1291–1295 grant appellate jurisdiction to lower federal courts of appeals.