Dr Michael Naughton is a socio-legal  academic specialising in miscarriages of justice, false allegations and the wrongful conviction and/or imprisonment of innocent victims who has received numerous awards and prizes for his work.

Dr Michael Naughton

Michael is the Founder and Director of Empowering the Innocent (ETI), a research project aimed at criminal justice system reform.

Empowering the Innocence (ETI) has so far set up four subprojects: CCRC Watch, False Allegations Watch (FAW)Innocence Art and Empowering the Innocent TV (ETI TV).

  • CCRC Watch features articles which centre on applications that are rejected by the CCRC, not because applicants are not innocent but, rather, because they are not deemed to have the so called ‘fresh’ evidence required to fulfil the ‘real possibility’ test and have their case referred back to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). CCRC Watch also features research articles on the wider limitations of the CCRC in dealing with applications from alleged innocent victims of wrongful convictions.
  • False Allegations Watch (FAW) features articles which centre on alleged false allegations, charges or wrongful convictions for sexual offences. False Allegations Watch (FAW) also features articles on the wider context within which false allegations of sexual offences can occur, including the legislation, policies and/or cultures that can act to facilitate or enable such false allegations to be made.
  • Innocence Art features art works that have been produced in response to the issues of false allegations, wrongful convictions and/or wrongful imprisonment, including poetry, songs, paintings, drawings, photographs, official documents and letters.
  • Empowering the Innocent TV (ETI TV) communicates the work of ETI and its subprojects with videos and podcasts of alleged wrongful conviction cases and other issues relevant to the work of ETI.

Together, these subprojects highlight the limitations and/or outright failings of the existing structures, procedures and cultures of the criminal justice system and the existing systems for overturning wrongful convictions with the aim of fostering public support as a precursor to criminal justice system reforms.

Michael is also known for setting up the first innocence project in the UK, the University of Bristol Innocence Project (2005-2015), which saw him spearhead the introduction of a new form of clinical legal education in the UK based on the innocence projects that originated in the United States. Under his supervision, student volunteers investigated claims of innocence by alleged victims of wrongful convictions on a pro bono basis, with input from criminal appeal lawyers and forensic experts where appropriate.

He also Founded and Directed Innocence Network UK (INUK) (2004 – 2015), which saw him facilitate the setting up, and support the subsequent running, of a national network with a total of 36 Innocence Projects in the UK dedicated to investigating and overturning wrongful convictions. This included an innocence project in a corporate law firm, which was also a global first.

This website provides access to Michael’s publications (4 books, over 80 articles, book chapters and other publications on miscarriages of justice, false allegations and wrongful conviction and imprisonment, the majority of which are free to download, and submissions to official inquiries, both domestically and internationally.

It also provides information on his wider activities in terms of media interviews and appearances, invited presentations and academic presentations.

Important note: Any views expressed on this website do not represent those of Michael Naughton’s employer.