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Applications to the CCRC are usually made in writing. Most people use our application form. We designed the form to make is it easy to fill in. The form is not a test so please just give us as much of the information as you can. If you complete the form, sign it and send it to us, we will take a look at your application and get back to you.
Before you fill in the application form, please think carefully about whether or not you need to apply to the CCRC at this stage. Our guidance for applicants is here to help you make the right decision for you.
We do not charge anything so applying to us will not cost you any money. If you apply to us and your case is referred to the appeal court, the court cannot add to your sentence even if they turn down your appeal.
No, you do not have to have a lawyer to apply to the CCRC. If you fill out an application form and send it to us we will look at your case whether or not you are represented by a lawyer. You may want to think about finding a solicitor to help you because the case review process can involve complicated legal issues and a good lawyer can help. There is guidance for applicants’ legal representatives here.
A solicitor may be able to get funding under the Legal Aid scheme to help you with an application to the CCRC. You can get advice about finding a lawyer by contacting Community Legal Advice on 0845 345 4345 or going to their website at www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk
The CCRC does not act as your lawyer. Our job is to look into your case independently. This means that we do not represent you, but it also means that we do not represent the police, the prosecution or anyone else. The CCRC is independent of everyone.
If you apply to the CCRC we will use the information you give us, including your personal information, to help us consider your case. This means that we may decide to use the information you give us to get hold of material belonging to other organisations. This could be information about you or about any other person or subject if we think it could have an impact on your case.
The CCRC has special legal powers get any material or information we think we need to investigate a case even if organisations or individuals do not want us to have it. We often obtain case related information from the police, the courts and other organisations and agencies such as the NHS and social services. Once we have started looking into a case we will decide what material we need.
We are aware of how sensitive the information involved in our investigations can be. We always take great care of the information that we get when looking into cases. We try to obtain only what we need, and we aim to keep the information only for as long as is reasonable in the case.
We are very careful about how and when we share information relating to cases and do so only when it is allowed by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
When a case is referred by the CCRC for an appeal, the information relevant to the appeal is usually shared with the applicant in the case, the appeal court and the prosecution. When a case is referred for appeal we will usually issue a brief press release about the reasons the case is being referred. We may also share information about the applicant with the Miscarriage of Justice Support Service which is a not-for-profit organisation that offers help to people who have been wrongly convicted.