Review appeal – What is it, definition and concept | 2022

The appeal for review is an extraordinary means of challenge available to the parties in a judicial process before resolutions for reasons established by law and that constitutes an autonomous process.

This means of challenge is totally extraordinary. This means that this type of resource cannot be used to challenge any resolution (providence, order or judgment) with which one of the parties does not agree, but can only be challenged for reasons established by law.

Its regulation will depend on what process we are in. In other words, the appeal for review in the criminal process is not the same as in the civil process or in the administrative process.


The essential features of this review resource:

  • It constitutes an autonomous process, since it is a new claim of an impugning nature on new facts.
  • Despite challenging a resolution, it does not follow the original process, and does not resolve the hierarchical superior or the court itself, but rather opens another new process with other new facts.
  • Only final judgments that have resolved the substance of the matter can be challenged. Or, in the case of the administrative process, what this review can appeal to are firm administrative acts, that is, those that exhaust the administrative route and force to resort to the judicial process.
  • In criminal proceedings, this procedural weapon could only be used before the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court.
  • It is regulated in the procedural codes: administrative, criminal or civil.
  • This means of challenge can be imposed by those affected by the final judgment.
  • Under Spanish law, the appeal for review can be filed up to 5 years after the final judgment was issued.
  • It is necessary to pay a deposit.
  • It does not have suspensive effects of the execution of the final judgment.
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Reasons for filing a review appeal

The main reasons for using this hotfix are:

  • The resolution has been issued assessing evidence of documents or testimonies declared false later.
  • The defendant’s confession has been obtained by violence or coercion.
  • These facts that have caused that final judgment requested to be reviewed must have been declared fraudulent in a final judgment.
  • When a final judgment has been handed down condemning one of the judges for the crime of prevarication.
  • Another reason is when, after the sentence is handed down, knowledge of facts or evidence comes to light that, if it had been provided, would have led to acquittal or a less serious sentence.


The main effects depend on whether the court ruling is favorable or unfavourable:

  • Review is dismissed: the final judgment is confirmed and the plaintiff is ordered to pay the costs.
  • The revision is estimated: the revised sentence will cease to have effect and will be annulled. In turn, the judge has to make a certification of the ruling.

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