This historic speech was the first public demand for an independent tribunal to be set up to consider cases of miscarriage of justice. It was organised by Peter Hill.

Although there had been some written reports - by JUSTICE and the Home Affairs Select Committee in particular - which had circulated internally within government, this speech by England's leading solicitor of the day was the first public protest against the system operated by Lord Lane and a generally anonymous group of lawyers inside the Home Office, known as C3. With Sir David Napley was the leading QC of the day - George Carman. Also attending was "Taffy" Cameron, the world famous forensic pathologist, - and Robert Kee a leading journalist who specialised in the subject. In the audience were prominent lawyers ( some fresh from the Guildford Four case) including Lord Goodhart, Nicholas Blake and "Paddy" O'Connor.

The chairman was Sir Frederick Lawton - who presided over some of the most controversial cases in the 80's, in particular the case of Ernie Clarke. For his notorious judgement on that case click here. Many thought that the fact that he agreed to appear at this event suggested that he had become disillusioned with Lord Lane's views on miscarriages of justice.

This speech lead directly to another parliamentary committee report - then to the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice, chaired by Lord Runciman. The resultant Runciman report led directly to the creation of the Criminal Case Review Commission.

What is particularly interesting about the contributions from the various speakers is the variety of ideas which were circulating in 1989 - some of which might be considered today as a means of reforming the system.  

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