Appellate review is the general term for the process by which courts with appellate jurisdiction take jurisdiction of matters decided by lower courts. It is distinguished from judicial review, which refers to the court's overriding constitutional or statutory right to determine if a legislative act or administrative decision is defective for jurisdictional or other reasons (which may vary by jurisdiction).
In most jurisdictions the normal and preferred way of seeking appellate review is by filing an appeal of the final judgment. Generally, an appeal of the judgment will also allow appeal of all other orders or rulings made by the trial court in the course of the case. This is because such orders cannot be appealed as of right . However, certain critical interlocutory court orders, such as the denial of a request for an interim injunction, or an order holding a person in contempt of court, can be appealed immediately although the case may otherwise not have been fully disposed of.
In Anglo-American common law courts, appellate review of lower court decisions may also be obtained by filing a petition for review by prerogative writ in certain cases. There is no corresponding right to a writ in any pure or continental civil law legal systems, though some mixed system such as Quebec recognize these prerogative writs.
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