CCRC Annual Report and Accounts 2019/20 laid in Parliament

The Criminal Cases Review Commission’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2019/20 has been laid in Parliament today, 14th July 2020.

The Annual Report and Accounts sets out facts and figures in relation to the performance and finances of the independent public body set up to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice. Since its creation in 1997, the CCRC has so far referred 739 cases to the appeal courts.

In her foreword to the report, CCRC Chairman Helen Pitcher touches upon the 29 cases referred for appeal in 2019/20 and discusses a number of the challenges faced by the Commission during the year including the impact of Covid-19, decisions on what to accept and what to reject from the recommendations of the Government’s Tailored Review, and the inquiry of the Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice.

Mrs Pitcher concludes her foreword by saying: “My team have worked tirelessly to realise our aims, to adapt to the world of remote working and to continue to serve our stakeholders. I thank each and every one of them.”

A PDF copy of the CCRC Annual Report and Accounts 2019/20 can be downloaded free of charge at ccrc.gov.uk/publications/corporate-publications/.

This press release was issued by Criminal Cases Review Commission. We can be contacted on 07947 355231 or at press@ccrc.x.gsi.gov.uk

 NOTES TO EDITORS

The Annual Report and Accounts of the Criminal Cases Review Commission is presented to Parliament by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in pursuance of paragraph 8(3) of Schedule 1 to the The Criminal Appeal Act 1995 and by the Comptroller and Auditor General in pursuance of paragraph 9(4) of Schedule 1 to that Act. It is also presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly under paragraph 8(4) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 by the Department of Justice.

Notes for editors:

  1. The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
  1. There are currently nine Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
  1. The Commission usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
  1. The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made.  New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
  1. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.