Find out more about us and how we work
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We are the Criminal Cases Review Commission or ‘CCRC’ for short. We investigate miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you think you’ve been wrongly sentenced or wrongly convicted of a criminal offence and you’ve lost your appeal, you can apply to us free of charge.
There’s no time limit on your application and we can look at old cases. If our investigation finds something new in your case, we can send it for a fresh appeal.
You can visit our website to use our online application form.
Or you can ask for an application form by contacting us via phone, email or post.
Our application forms are easy to fill in and you don’t need help from a solicitor to apply.
If you’re unable to complete the form yourself, friends and family members can act as your representative.
Asking for an investigation from the CCRC is completely free.
We’re paid for by the Ministry of Justice and we will never ask you or your representatives for money, no matter how long we work on your case.
The CCRC is independent. This means we don’t work for the police, the courts or the prosecution. But it also means we don’t work for you in the same way that a solicitor would.
Our job is to investigate your case closely, in a fair and impartial way.
We use our special powers to ask for things like police papers and secret materials from all public bodies to investigate your case.
The law says that if we ask for materials, they have to be sent to us.
The CCRC is the only body that can request information in this way. We use our powers carefully and only when we need to.
If our investigation finds something new in your case, like a change in the law, new evidence or a new witness statement we can send your case back to the appeal court.
The CCRC is the only organisation with the power to do this.
The CCRC is the very last stage of the Criminal Justice System.
Anyone who believes they’ve been wrongly convicted of a criminal offence in England, Wales or Northern Ireland can ask the CCRC to review their case.
But you usually need to appeal to the court before applying to us.
If you lose your appeal and apply to us, we can carry out a fair and independent investigation of your case free of charge.
To find out more about the CCRC and how we can help you, give us a call.
Key facts about the CCRC
- Funded by taxpayers' money
- Free to apply
- Independent of police, courts and the government
- Special legal powers to look into criminal cases
- Sends cases for a fresh appeal
- Covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland