Dr Michael Naughton is an academic specialising in ‘miscarriages of justice’, with a particular focus on the wrongful conviction and/or imprisonment of innocent victims, who has received numerous awards and prizes for his work (click here).
Michael is the Founder and Director of Empowering the Innocent (ETI), a research project aimed at criminal justice system reform (click here), which has two subprojects, CCRC Watch (click here) and False Allegations Watch (FAW) (click here).
A feature of these subprojects is that they give voice to alleged innocent victims of wrongful convictions. In so doing, they highlight the limitations and/or outright failings of the existing structures, procedures and cultures of the criminal justice system in terms of how wrongful convictions can be caused and how the existing systems for overturning wrongful convictions can also fail innocent victims. The overall aim is to foster widespread public support as a precursor to criminal justice reforms to prevent wrongful convictions or provide the mechanisms for them to be overturned when they occur.
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 (click here).
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 (click here).
This website provides access to Michael’s research and publications (4 books (click here), over 70 articles, book chapters and other publications on miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions and imprisonment, the majority of which are free to download (click here), and submissions to official inquiries, both domestically and internationally (click here).
It also provides information on his wider activities in terms of media interviews and appearances (click here), invited presentations (click here) and academic presentations (click here).
Important note: Any views expressed on this website do not represent those of Michael Naughton’s employer.