Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

Skip to content

The case review process

When your application arrives we check:

  • if you have already tried to appeal.
  • that we have the legal powers to deal with your case.
  • if you have applied to us before about the same conviction.

Every application form we receive is looked at carefully, and you should check the ‘Can I Apply’ page to see what could make an application ineligible for an investigation.

Opening an investigation

We start our investigations by collecting all the papers that we need. These are things like the files from the court where you were convicted and any papers from previous appeals. We strongly recommend that you include as much information about your conviction and past appeals as possible – it will slow the investigation down if you do not do this.

Once we have the papers we need to get started, we will look at your case to see what should happen next. At this stage we are looking to see what we need to do to get to the bottom of the issues that you have raised. If we think that there are issues in your case that need further investigation, we will allocate your case to one of our Case Review Managers (the CCRC staff who carry out the investigations).

At this point we will write to you and let you know what is happening. If your case is investigated, the decision about whether your case can be referred will be taken once the Case Review Manager has reviewed your case.


1. If the Case Review Manager concludes there is no real possibility of the conviction/sentence being quashed

  • The Case Review Manager might think that there is nothing significant or new in your case to allow us to send your case to the appeal court. In this case they will ask an independent Commissioner to look at the case.
  • The Commissioner has two options open to them. They can make the decision not to refer and close the case, or they can send your case to a decision-making committee who might still choose to refer it.

2. If the Case Review Manager feels that your case could be referred

  • The Case Review Manager might think that your case should be referred. The Case Review Manager will send your case to an independent decision-making committee.
  • A decision-making committee is made up of at least three Commissioners.
  • If we decide that your case cannot be sent to the appeal court, we will explain the reasons why the Commission cannot send your case for an appeal.
  • Where appropriate, you will be given time to respond to the decision document and will be sent a Provisional Statement of Reasons, which will allow you 28 days to respond to the points we have made. For further information see Extensions for Further Representations.