THE Ministry of Justice has today announced that its review into the miscarriage of justice suffered by Andrew Malkinson has launched and is being chaired by Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro KC.
In response, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has emphasised its commitment to fully supporting HHJ Munro KC’s inquiry.
The CCRC has already separately commissioned an additional review carried out by an independent KC specifically into the organisation’s handling of Mr Malkinson’s applications.
Helen Pitcher OBE, Chairman of the CCRC, said:
“We will support Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro KC in this whole-system review into what went wrong in this appalling miscarriage of justice.
“It is right that this is a thorough inquiry looking across the criminal justice system, and we will do everything we can to help HHJ Munro KC review our investigations into the case.
“The CCRC has commissioned a separate independent review into the CCRC’s handling of the case and we anticipate that its findings will complement and support this inquiry to create a clear picture of what happened.”
The inquiry will investigate the handling and the role Greater Manchester Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the CCRC played in Mr Malkinson’s conviction and subsequent appeals to ensure lessons are learned from the significant miscarriage of justice he has suffered.
Notes to editors
- The CCRC is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently 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 11 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
- The CCRC 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. In the last three years, more than 100 convictions or sentences have been overturned following CCRC referrals.
- The CCRC 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.
- More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk. The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc