Booking is now open for INUK’s Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust-funded
conference on reforming the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
It will be on Friday the 30th March 2012, to coincide with the 15th
anniversary of the CCRC, and will hosted by Norton Rose LLP, near London
Lunch and refreshments will be provided and 5 CPD points are available for
those that want them.
Likely to be one of the most significant events on the law of criminal
appeals and the role of the CCRC to date, speakers so far confirmed include:
Chris Mullin, the ex-MP connected with the Birmingham Six case and the
setting up of the CCRC, will launch the proceedings.
Dr Eamonn O’ Neill is the Chair of the event and will also do a
presentation from the perspective of an investigative journalist who has
overturned wrongful convictions (Robert Brown and Stuart Gair).
Susan May and Eddie Gilfoyle, alleged innocent victims of wrongful
convictions will talk of their on-going struggles with the CCRC to have
their cases investigated and referred back to the Court of Appeal.
Prof. Michael Zander, who was a Member of the Royal Commission on Criminal
Justice that recommended the establishment of the CCRC, will outline his
thoughts on the main problem with dealing with alleged wrongful convictions
and how things can be changed.
Laurie Elks and David Jessel, both ex-Commissioners at the CCRC, will share
their separate thoughts on how the current arrangements could be reformed
to better assist applicants who may be innocent.
Mark George QC and Mark Newby, Solicitor Advocate, who both have a great
track record with the CCRC will also give their analysis and
recommendations for reform.
Bruce Kent, Chair, Progressing Prisoners Maintaining Innocence, will speak
about the Ray Gilbert case, who has maintained innocence for 30 years and
was recently refused a referral by the CCRC despite many flaws in his
Russ Spring, United Against Injustice, West Midlands Against Injustice,
will speak about the campaign for the abolition of the CCRC.
Professor Richard Nobles, Queen Mary University, London, will present an
analysis of his and his colleagues’, Professor David Schiff’s, critique of
the CCRC and the reforms that they believe could enable the CCRC to more
effectively deal with applications by alleged innocent victims of wrongful
Paddy Joe Hill of the Birmingham Six will close the event with his views on
the CCRC from the perspective that it was set up in large part in response
to the case of the Birmingham Six yet a growing number of plausible claims
of innocence are failing to be referred back to the appeal courts by the
CCRC – it is even doubtful that the CCRC would refer a case like the
Birmingham Six if it were to come before it today.
The symposium will be invaluable in terms of providing a deeper
understanding of the challenges in trying to overturn alleged wrongful convictions under the