Formed in 1997, the CCRC looks into cases where "fresh evidence" has been discovered. If it is satisfied that ther is a chance that there may have been miscarriage of justice, it has the power to refer the case  the Court of Appeal. It does not however have the power to release people, nor to conduct extensive investigations. It is funded by the government.

The normal method of work for the CCRC is that it likes to receive petitions from solicitors, not from prisoners - though that is possible. The reason for this is simply that many prisoners send in very poor petitions - they re-argue the trial, they present "fresh evidence" that does not come within the legal category of such - and they are very long-winded. At least if a solicitor is involved the reputation of the solicitor is to some extent at stake, so there is a better chance that there is something worthwhile in  the petition. In some years almost half of the petitions sent into the CCRC may be ineligible - mostly for the reasons mentioned above.


Presenting a poor petition to the CCRC is disastrous - because if a case is once rejected it will have to take its place at the bottom the pile the next time it is submitted. That could mean a delay of many years. See the interview film on this site with former Commissioneer Laurie Elks.

If the case is taken up, it will be assigned caseworker - who will be your point of contact. Above the caseworker will be a Commissioner - he or she is the person who will ultimately decide the case, though the Commission as a whole must agree before a case is referred back to the Court of Appeal.

Always remember that it is not the job of the CCRC to go looking for your "fresh" evidence. If you expect it to do that, and submit  a petition, you will only set your case back many years.

The CCRC can be contacted at : Telephone: 0121 233 1473

The  postal address is:

Criminal Cases Review Commission
5, St Philips Place
B3 2PW