Criminal Cases Review Commission Annual Report & Accounts 2012/13

The latest Annual Report and Accounts of the Criminal Cases Review Commission was laid in Parliament on 11th July.

The CCRC Annual Report and Accounts 2012/13 sets out facts and figures in relation to the performance in the financial year just gone and publishes the accounts of the organisation which investigates alleged miscarriages of justice.

The Commission’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2012/13 was laid before both Houses of Parliament on July 11th. Copies can be seen and downloaded free of charge by going to ccrc.gov.uk. Printed copies can be ordered from The Stationary Office. The document is HC 482 and the ISBN number is 978-0-10-298417-0.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 233 0906.

Notes to editors

The Commission’s Annual Report and Accounts are 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.

The Criminal Cases Review 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.

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.

The Commission usually receives around 1,000 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year.  Our long term referral rate is around 4%, which means around one in 25 of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.

As specified in the Criminal Appeal Act 1995, 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”.

If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.