In October 2019, JUSTICE submitted evidence to the Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice, which was established by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Miscarriages of Justice. The aim of the Commission’s inquiry was to investigate the serious misgivings expressed in the legal profession, commentators and academics, about the remit of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and its ability to deal with cases of miscarriages of justice.
We are of the view that improvements to its independence, its statutory test for referral to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division and to its investigative procedures would result in more successful referrals. In particular, we recommended:
- Commissioners should have security of tenure to ensure that they are not influenced in their decision-making by the Secretary of State’s view.
- It is vital that the Commission is sufficiently funded, both in terms of providing the right resources for thorough investigations and so that Commissioner roles can be properly remunerated.
- Less complex cases should be dealt with by a dedicated team within the Commission to ensure resources are not diverted from more complex cases.
- A duty to refer cases that meet the threshold should be implemented.
- A new test for referring cases to the CACD should be established.