CCRC invites proposals for new justice research projects

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) is the independent public body which investigates alleged miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The CCRC Research Committee exists to promote and manage serious independent academic  research which makes use of CCRC casework records and data to study matters relevant to miscarriages of justice and the wider justice system.

We are today inviting new proposals for research projects. Such projects can be of any length and on any subject, provided that the research is of arguable benefit to the CCRC and to the wider criminal justice system.

We would be would be particularly interested in any research proposals which relate to the following subjects:

  • Young people in the Criminal Justice System
  • Human trafficking / modern slavery cases
  • Digital evidence in the Criminal Justice System
  • Cases involving expert medical evidence
  • Historical sexual abuse cases
  • Mental health and the Criminal Justice System
  • Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the fairness of trials / safety of convictions
  • Issues of race and ethnicity in the Criminal Justice System

Funding

The CCRC is not in a position to offer any funding. However, the CCRC can offer access to data, relevant contact details, support for funding applications if appropriate, and publication of resulting theses/reports/papers on its website and, where appropriate, reference to relevant findings in its annual report. The CCRC will also report any relevant findings to the appropriate public bodies and agencies as part of its remit to disseminate such information to key stakeholders to improve the Criminal Justice System to prevent miscarriages of justice.

Deadline for submissions and criteria

The current deadline for submissions is 29th January 2021. The CCRC would be happy to consider research proposals from PhD students with an agreed supervisor; but unfortunately we cannot consider proposals from undergraduates or from students who are yet to enter university.

The CCRC’s full criteria for research proposals are published on our website at ccrc.gov.uk/research-at-the-ccrc/ Interested researchers are also encouraged to contact the CCRC to discuss possible proposals for this research call. The CCRC can then provide details of its requirements and the criteria which we apply to decide which projects are approved.

Please send research enquiries to info@ccrc.gov.uk

Media enquiries to justin.hawkins@ccrc.x.gsi.gov.uk

Background to the CCRC

We are entirely funded by the state, but in our decision-making we remain independent of government, the Courts, the police and the prosecution.

Whenever the CCRC is presented with – or where we ourselves identify – new evidence or argument which gives rise to a real possibility that a conviction would be overturned or a sentence reduced, then we refer the case to the appeal courts for fresh appeal proceedings to take place. Since the CCRC was established in 1997, we have referred over 750 cases to the appeal courts.

The CCRC’s Research Committee

Our Research Committee is responsible for:

  • Identifying areas of potential research which might be beneficial to the CCRC and to the wider criminal justice system;
  • Commissioning research from external providers, typically universities, charities or campaign groups;
  • Assessing ad hoc and unsolicited research proposals received from external providers;
  • Monitoring the progress of research projects.

The Research Committee, which meets 3-4 times per year (either at the CCRC’s offices or by video conference), is chaired by a Commissioner and also includes casework staff and two external academic advisors.

For more information about the CCRC Research Committee, and for examples of previous research projects, see ccrc.gov.uk/research-at-the-ccrc/