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Welcome to the Criminal Cases Review Commission

Applicants

How to apply for our free services
Case studies

People who have applied to us
Latest news

Read about our recent activities

The CCRC is the official independent body that has investigated thousands of potential miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Our service is free and we are unique – only the CCRC can send cases back for a fresh appeal.
  • Applications can be made by anyone who believes they have been wrongly convicted or sentenced, including those who have previously lost an appeal.
  • Since our creation in 1997, we have referred 800 cases to the courts of people who applied to us.

Who are the CCRC – and how do we work?

Read video transcript

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

  • Created in 1997 to investigate potential miscarriages of justice
  • The CCRC covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Independent of police, courts and the government
  • Review 1,000+ cases per year – and have referred 800 cases to the courts
  • The CCRC has special legal powers to look into criminal cases
  • Asking for an investigation from the CCRC is completely free

Apply for a Case Review

Only the CCRC has the power to refer a case back to the Court of Appeal for a fresh appeal

Find out how to apply