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Academic research

The CCRC seeks to stimulate serious independent academic research that will benefit the criminal justice system.

In doing so, the CCRC has allowed controlled access to its casework records to assist projects exploring topics of practical use and interest.

Our completed research includes papers on;

Ongoing academic research includes;

  • Witness Testimony (Dr Rebecca Helm – Exeter University)
  • Digital Evidence (Professor Michele Burnham and team – Glasgow University)
  • Human Trafficking (Professor Richard Vogler and team – Sussex University)
  • Young Offenders (PhD student – Northumbria University)
  • The CCRC applicant experience – Legal Aid Research Stage 6 (Dr Lucy Welsh, Sussex University) 

CCRC 2024 Research Call

The CCRC’s Research Committee is currently inviting new proposals for research projects with the CCRC.

Projects can be on any subject or length but must be of benefit to the CCRC and the wider criminal justice system. Any proposal must be at PhD level or above. The CCRC is unable to offer funding but has wide and diverse data sets from 1997 onwards.  

The CCRC would be particularly interested in any research proposals which relate to the following subjects:   

  • Why do many CCRC applicants not exhaust their appeal rights either before or after an application to the CCRC?   
  • The admissibility of expert scientific and medical evidence either at trial or on appeal  
  • Issues of race and ethnicity and miscarriages of justice, for example in relation to joint enterprise prosecutions/gang related evidence   
  • Historical sexual abuse cases and the effect of delay on fair trials   
  • Delayed justice and cracked trials – backlog, the criminal justice system and miscarriages of justice   
  • Access to justice for vulnerable applicants   
  • Victims of crime including when to notify victims of applications and when to obtain a victim’s sensitive data   
  • Summary justice: the recent rise in applications to the CCRC from those convicted in the Magistrates’ Courts and the approach of the CCRC to these cases  
  • (Social) Media Campaigns and Applications to the CCRC: how many applications to the CCRC are / have been the subject of media campaigns? How many CCRC referrals to the appeal courts are / have been cases featuring media campaigns? Have those numbers varied over time? What impact has social media had in this area, if any? 

For more information see our leaflet. Deadline for submission of initial proposal: Monday 30 September 2024

Anyone interested in proposing an academic research project to the Commission should consider the following documents:

Research process notes

Notes for submission of a full research proposal

CCRC Criteria for assessing research proposals

CCRC Confidentiality Agreement

Information about CCRC data sets

We also recommend that you make yourself aware of existing research.

All researchers will be required to sign an appropriate confidentiality agreement before access to CCRC records can be given.

If you have a query in relation to research with the CCRC, please email us at