What are the roles of the CCRC?
Until 31 March 1997 the Home Secretary dealt with applications by people claiming to be victims of miscarriages of justice, while in Northern Ireland the issue fell to the Secretary of State to consider. Both could refer cases back to the Court of Appeal. The Criminal case review commission was established as an independent public body that was set up in March 1997 by the 1995 Criminal Appeal Act. The CCRC started investigating miscarriages of justice in 1997. The Commission is based in Birmingham and has about 100 staff, including a core of about 50 caseworkers, supported by administrative staff.There are nine Commissioners, appointed in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice. They work with the Senior Management Team to ensure the Commission runs efficiently. Before the CCRC was set-up, high profile cases such as the Birmingham 6 were in the news, so therefore the runciman commission recommended that an independent review body be set up to investigate miscarriages of justice. Not just anybody can be a part of the CCRC. The members of the commission are appointed by the queen, and only people who are very good at what they do get chosen. The CCRC has jurisdiction over criminal cases at any Magistrates’ or Crown Court in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The CCRC’s main job is to review the cases of those that feel they have been wrongly convicted of criminal offences, or unfairly sentenced. The commission has dealt with many high profile cases such as Derek Bentley’s case and James and Sion Jenkins’ case. The CCRC also consider whether there is new evidence or argument that may cast doubt on the safety of an original decision. The CCRC have wide-ranging investigative powers and can obtain and preserve documentation held by any public body. The CCRC can also appoint an Investigating Officer from another public body to carry out inquiries on our behalf. The CCRC’s statutory...
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