Oscar Pistorius' lawyers have failed in their attempt to stop prosecutors from appealing the double-amputee athlete's negligent killing conviction.

Judge Thokozile Masipa on Friday dismissed an application by Pistorius' lawyers to challenge the appeal by prosecutors, who want Pistorius convicted of the more serious charge of murder for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

In December, Masipa granted prosecutors permission to take the case to South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal. Pistorius' lawyers were arguing on Friday that Masipa should not have allowed that appeal.

Pistorius, a Paralympic champion, is serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of culpable homicide.

Prosecutors are bringing the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Olympian could face a minimum of 15 years in jail if convicted of murder.