CCRC Statement in relation to the Ched Evans case committee on September 15th
The CCRC statement below confirms the date of the a CCRC case committee in the Ched Evans case and gives some background details about the nature, purpose and possible outcomes of a CCRC case committee. The Commission will be making no further comment at this stage.
A case committee of three CCRC Commissioners is due to meet on 15th September to consider the case of Ched Evans.
Mr Evans was convicted of rape in April 2012. He lost his appeal against conviction in November 2012. He applied to the CCRC for a review of his case in July 2014. The Commission received further submissions from Mr Evans’ legal representatives in January and April 2015.
The case committee meets to consider Mr Evans’ case following the ten month long investigative phase of the Commission’s review.
What are the possible outcomes?
There are three possible outcomes from a CCRC case committee:
- A committee may decide that further investigative work is required before a decision can be made. If this is the case, the further work will be carried out and the committee will meet again to consider the results of those investigations at a later date.
- A committee may decide that it is not minded to refer the case for appeal if it believes that, as things stand, there are no grounds upon which it can be referred to the Court of Appeal. If this is the case the applicant and his/her legal representatives will be sent a Provisional Statement of Reasons setting out in detail the Commission’s analysis of the case and explaining why it has reached the provisional view that it cannot refer the case. In these circumstances, the applicant and / or their representatives are given a minimum of 28 days (and more time if necessary) in which they are invited to respond to the provisional view. Any further representations received at this stage will be carefully considered by the committee before any final decision is made.
- A committee may decide to refer the case to the Court of Appeal if it considers that some new evidence or new legal argument identified in the Commission’s review raises a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will quash the conviction. A referral is formally made when a CCRC Statement of Reasons setting out in detail the Commission’s reasons for the referral is sent to the Court of Appeal, the applicant and their representatives, and the prosecuting authority.
When will the outcome be known?
The outcome of a CCRC case committee, if it is a provisional or a final decision, will usually be communicated to the applicant and others several days or even weeks after the date on which the committee met. This is because it usually takes some time to properly capture in a formal legal document the decision and the detailed reasons for it and because there are a number of issues, such as third party disclosure and victim notification that may have to be dealt. A Commission decision is not considered final until the Statement or Reasons is signed by and despatched to the relevant parties.
Who sits on a CCRC case committee?
CCRC case committees are made up of three Commissioners. Profiles of all Commissioners can be found under the “About Us” tab on the CCRC website at ccrc.gov.uk
Statements of Reasons setting out CCRC committee decisions are signed by the lead Commissioner and all three Commissioners on the committee are named in the document. It is not Commission policy to identify the members of a particular committee before a final Statement of Reasons is agreed and sent.
What happens when a case is referred?
When a case is referred by the Commission to the Court of Appeal, the CCRC Statement of Reasons is sent to the applicant, to the Court and to the prosecuting authority (so that it can decide if /how to oppose the appeal).
There is no “leave to appeal” stage when the CCRC refers a case to the Court of Appeal; the Court is obliged to hear a full appeal. However, if the applicant/appellant wants to add grounds to the appeal that are not covered in the CCRC’s Statement of Reasons, they must apply to the Court for leave to add those additional ground to the appeal.
Once a CCRC referral is made, the Commission plays no further part in the case. It is not involved in the subsequent appeal. The listing and hearing of the appeal itself is a matter for the Court of Appeal and the parties to the appeal.
What happens when a case is not referred?
As outlined above, the Commission has a process by which applicants are invited to respond to provisional decisions not to refer a case. In the event that, after that process, the Commission makes a final decision not to refer a case, the case is closed. There is no right of appeal. If an applicant feels that there have been shortcomings in the way the Commission has dealt with their case, they can make a formal complaint (for more information see the Formal Memoranda on the CCRC complaints procedure in Casework Policies). An applicant can seek a Judicial Review of the Commission’s decision if they think it is unreasonable (see the CCRC policy on Judicial Review at Casework Policies).An applicant can make a fresh application to the Commission; a new application will need to cover different ground to any previous application.
What is a case committee?
Only a committee of at least three Commissioners can decide to refer a case for appeal. A single Commissioner can decide alone not to refer a case. Case committees are therefore held when it seems that the issues raised mean that a referral is at least possible in a case under review by the CCRC. The fact that a committee is convened does not mean that a case will be referred (see possible outcomes above).
More information on CCRC decision making committee can be found in the Formal Memorandum called Stage Two Decisions in the Casework Policies section of the CCRC website under the Publications tab.