After Moses received the law, he acted as judge for all the people.
Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening (Ex 18:13).Jethro his father-in-law realised that Moses would wear himself out if he carried on this way and suggested that he appoint other judges to share the burden.
But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves (Exodus 18:21-23).This is what Moses did. He established a formal appeal process.
He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves. (Exodus 18:25-27).The appointed judges decided all the cases that were brought before them. However the harder cases were appealed up to Moses. These appeals had an educative effect. By watching his decisions, the judges would learn how to decide cases in the future.
Moses was able to act as the highest court of appeal, because God had given the law through him, so he understood it best. No one could take that role after he died.
What will happen now that we no longer have Moses is that some judges will get a reputation for understanding the law and making very wise decisions. People wanting justice will start appealing their case to the best judges. For tough cases, an appeal judge might invite other widely respected judges to sit on the case with him. This will improve the quality of his decision and strengthen the sense of justice.