Appellate courts are a nearly ubiquitous part of the legal systems of the world. Though courts of appeal in many countries may lack the legal drama that makes trial courts a focus of popular attention, appellate judicial bodies have long been a fixture of scholarly attention for the way they embody and reflect the philosophies, cultures, and norms in society. Increasingly, too, scholars have recognized them as significant lawmaking institutions in the political systems of the world, including supranational organizations such as the European Union. Whether legislation places the appellate role in a single court or a full hierarchy of appellate bodies, the institutions and dynamics of appellate courts shape the law and society in remarkable and varied ways.

Function and Organization

At their simplest, appellate courts ...

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