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CCRC welcomes announcement of long-requested review of appeals process

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has today (5 August) applauded the confirmation of a wide-ranging review of the laws governing appeals for criminal cases.

The Law Commission of England and Wales has been asked by the UK Government to examine the needs for reforms to the criminal appeals system.

Helen Pitcher OBE, Chairman of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, said:

“We have called for a review into the appeals process for a number of years and look forward to working closely with the Law Commission on this vitally important appraisal.

“The CCRC is committed to finding and investigating miscarriages of justice and it is right that the appeals system is regularly and robustly scrutinised.”

The CCRC is the independent body responsible for investigating miscarriages of justice in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  Part of the Law Commission review will be an examination of the test that governs when the CCRC can refer a case to the Court of Appeal for further consideration.

You can read the full Law Commission announcement here


This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. They can be contacted by phone on: 0121 232 0900 or by email:     

Notes to Editors 

  1. 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. 
  2. There are currently 11 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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”. 
  5. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair. 
  6. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc