The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Hope for the innocent? (2009 [2012]: Palgrave Macmillan)

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This book, now in paperback, focuses on the world’s first publicly-funded body to review alleged miscarriages of justice, set up in the wake of notorious cases such as the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six. Bringing together critical perspectives from campaigners, prominent criminal appeal practitioners and academic specialists, it centres on the different aspects of the CCRC’s tasks, in particular, the limitations placed on it by its governing statute that hinder its claimed independence from the appeal courts and its working practices which prevents the referral of cases in which victims may be factually innocent. The book compares the CCRC with existing systems in Scotland, the US and Canada that deal with alleged wrongful convictions. Thoroughly undermining its operations, this study argues that the CCRC’s help to innocent victims of wrongful conviction is merely incidental.


‘The CCRC is an extremely important experiment – a government institution dedicated to investigating miscarriages of justice – that jurists all across the world are following with profound interest. Michael Naughton’s thorough and insightful book raises critical issues the CCRC must address, especially the apparent tendency to elevate concerns about procedure above the CCRC’s core mission to find a best approximation of the truth and fairness in an individual’s case.’ – Barry Scheck, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Innocence Project, USA

‘Michael Naughton’s timely and authoritative book comprehensively destroys the myth that the central mission of the CCRC is to correct wrongful convictions of the innocent.’ Professor Mike McConville, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

‘This is a timely and provocative volume, which draws attention to the limitations of Criminal Cases Review Commission and similar institutions. . . It ought to act as a useful antidote to any sense of complacency on the part of those responsible for rectifying such miscarriages.’ – Professor Peter Duff, former member of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission

The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Hope for the Innocent? is a must read for any person with a serious interest in understanding what approaches may and may not work to help with overturning the conviction of innocent persons.’ – Hans Sherrer, Justice Denied

‘The book presents a strong and passionate prosecution case against the CCRC.’ – Duncan Campbell, The Guardian

‘The book may completely change the reader’s perception of the CCRC via a thorough exploration of the entire organisation, its history, objectives and apparent failings…Overall, the book provides a significant insight into the work of the CCRC.’ – The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice