The Last Hope for the Innocent
The Criminal Cases Review Commission was established following the Runciman Commission and enactacted through the 1995 Criminal Appeal Act . It is an independent Body charged with reviewing miscarriages of justice .
Generally applicants are expected to have appealed before approaching the commission although it does retain a discretion to accept cases which have not been subject to appeal .
Cases are investigated by a Case Review Manager and once complete a decision will be made by a Single Commissioner or Group of Commissioners as to whether the case should be referred .
The test for referral in conviction cases is whether if the case is referred there is a reasonable possibility that the Court of Appeal would not uphold the conviction . This requires the Commission to second guess what the Court of Appeal would do , the consequence of this has often been for the commisison to be criticised over its relationship with the Court of Appeal . It has over the years had the level of funding it receives eroded which has in turn affected its delivery and performance . Yet depsite all of these issues compared to the Old Dept C3 at the Home Office , it still remains the best last hope the wrongfully convicted can get