When you seek to over turn a wrongful conviction the challenge is often finding the right ground or grounds to persuade the Court of Appeal that the conviction is unsafe . Your feeling of injustice , the errors you think were made , the failure to call the right witness , the fresh evidence you have or the Judges bias .......these may be the matters that keep you awake at night but either individually or cumulatively they may not be enough . It may be however that lurking below the surface is a serious failing or ground that you have not even thought about . This requires a very careful and methodical approach . What we set out are some of those key areas and legal grounds that could arise but it is important to realise that each case is different and no past decision of the Court can be a guide as to what it is likely to do if you get to argue your case before them .
Its a good place to start however ...............
Caselaw Spotlight - Hearsay Deceased Complainants
What if the Complainant who is making allegations against you has died by the time of your trial ? Surely you cannot have a fair trial ?
The Answer says the Court is that in most cases you can . In Horncastle v United Kingdom  12 WLUK 569 the Court held there was no infringement of a right to a fair trial where Complainants were absent . See also Riat  EWCA Crim 1509
A key consideation for the Court had been whether the evidence to be admitted would be decisive or whether other evidence was available .The Court would have regard to the circumstances of the evidence and its reliability and it would not always be safe to assume such evidence would be admitted
For example in R v Ibrahim  EWCA Crim 837 - A conviction for rape was unsafe as the untested hearsay evidence of the complainant, who had died before the trial, should not have been admitted under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.116. In the light of the reliability of the evidence and its importance to the Crown's case, its admission had had such an adverse effect on the fairness of the proceedings as to infringe the defendant's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6(1).
Where it is admitted it is important to ensure that the judge gives very careful directions and this should include in suitable cases identifying the quesitons the complainant would have been asked if they had been there .