Appellate courts may have a number of titles. Many jurisdictions title their appellate court a Court of Appeal or Court of Appeals. Historically, others have titled their appellate court a Court of Errors (or Court of Errors and Appeals), on the premise that it was intended to correct errors made by lower courts. Examples of such courts include the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals (which existed from 1844 to 1947) and the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors (which has been renamed the Connecticut Supreme Court). In some jurisdictions, courts able to hear appeals are known as an Appellate Division.
Depending on the system, certain courts may serve as both trial courts and appellate courts, hearing appeals of decisions made by courts with more limited jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have specialized appellate courts, such as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which only hears appeals raised in criminal cases.
Authority to review
The authority of appellate courts to review a decisions of lower courts varies widely from one jurisdication to another. In some places, the appellate court has limited powers of review. For example, in the United States, both state and federal appellate courts are usually restricted to examining whether the court below made the correct legal determinations, rather than hearing direct evidence and determining what the facts of the case were. Furthermore, U.S. appellate courts are usually restricted to hearing appeals based on matters that were originally brought up before the trial court. Hence, such an appellate court will not consider an appellant's argument if it is based on a theory that is raised for the first time in the appeal.