Cardiff Case Watch
On 22 July 2010, Cardiff Law School submitted six cases simultaneously to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). A full explanation of the context/purpose of this simultaneous case submission can be seen in Archbold Review: Issue 9 November 4, 2010 – Innocence Projects, the CCRC and the Court of Appeal: Breaching the Barriers?
June 2011 update:
Five out of six of our cases have been accepted for full review by the CCRC. The first was allocated to a Case Review Manager in March , and the final one on 11th May (41 weeks after our submissions). We are currently engaged in dialogue with the CCRC about the reviews.
We welcome calls for a review of the current criminal appeals system, whilst appreciating the statutory and financial constraints of the CCRC. There may be academic merit in the CCRC considering historic cases such as that of Dr Crippen, as outlined in a recent newspaper article, but our innocence project's energies are focused on current cases. However, if the notion of Dr Crippen being innocent facilitates discussion about the issue, then that is to be welcomed!
In essence, Cardiff Case Watch aims to compare and contrast (with appropriate confidentiality safeguards) how these six cases progress, or otherwise, through the CCRC system, offering other university innocence projects and wider observers a closer insight into the post-appeal process and its inherent restrictions, which may not be widely-known. This is a new journey for us, as these are our first-ever submissions to the CCRC, so this is partly an "educational experiment" for Cardiff Law School Innocence Project.
However, equally important is our parallel objective. Our cases represent individual people who have persistently maintained their innocence of the serious crimes for which they have been convicted, and in whose cases we have identified grave issues of concern that may cast doubt upon the “safety of their convictions”. We want to ask questions, to promote pro-activity and constructive dialogue between key stakeholders, to address fundamental unfairness with the system, and to support calls for a wider review. We consider that "matters decided at trial" should be open to review in cases such as ours.
“If universities, lawyers, journalists, politicians, support groups and other key stakeholders can work together collaboratively, supportively and strategically, then we will eventually contribute to achieving real justice, which requires an open mind on all fronts”
Julie Price and Dennis Eady
Please click on the links to the right of this page (Mr A – Mr G) for details of our cases.
Cardiff Law School is especially grateful for the ongoing and vital pro bono assistance of Des Thomas, MBA (Forensic Police Consultant), Nigel Hodge (Forensic Scientist), and Philip Evans (Barrister, QEB Hollis Whiteman) who act as Consultants to our innocence project, and to Neil Smith (Data Locator 2202).
Cardiff was an early member of the Innocence Network UK (2005-2010) and we acknowledge the inspiration and dedication of Dr Michael Naughton in creating the university "innocence project movement" in the UK.
We thank all student caseworkers, past and present, for their efforts, and in particular the elected Student Law Society Innocence Officers: Lisa-Marie Thomas (2009/10), Caitlin Gallagher (2008/9), Julia-Anne Dix (2007/8), and for this coming year Alanna Tregear (2010-2011)
Other pro bono support is acknowledged on individual case pages