Innocence Network UK (INUK) was established by Dr Michael Naughton, an academic expert on miscarriages of justice and the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of the innocent, for the following reasons that were identified in his academic research:
- PROBLEMS WITH THE SYSTEM: Despite the creation of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) in Scotland, factually innocent victims of wrongful convictions still find it difficult, sometimes impossible, to have their cases referred back to the appeal courts and overturned. Click here, here, here and here for analysis.
- VICTIMS: The wrongful conviction of factually innocent people inevitably results in serious social, physical, financial and emotional damage far beyond harm to the prisoner only. It extends to family, friends and society itself. It includes the victims of crime and their families too because the real perpetrator is still at large often committing further crimes and justice has not been done. Click here for analysis.
- PROGRESSING PRISONERS MAINTAINING INNOCENCE: Life sentenced prisoners maintaining factual innocence are, generally, unable to progress through the prison system, with a view to consideration for parole, as they refuse to acknowledge their crimes (because they maintain innocence), which the system considers an essential pre-requisite for rehabilitation. So they are faced with the impossible decision of admitting to the crime, in the hope of release, or continuing to maintain factual innocence, knowing that they may never come out of prison as a result. Click here, here, here, here and here for analysis.
- NO ALTERNATIVE ORGANISATION: INUK was established because there was no other organisation at the time to address these problems in the same way. In particular, the organisation JUSTICE ceased its work on alleged miscarriages of justice when the CCRC was set up on the misconception that it was the panacea for the wrongful conviction of the innocent. As an independent project, with a firm educational base, INUK provided a strong voice in a unique way.
INUK was launched by Dr Naughton at a press conference on the eve of the Innocence Projects Colloquim held at the University of Bristol, School of Law, 3rd September 2004, that explored the feasibility of establishing innocence projects in UK universities, similar to those that exist in the United States.
The launch of the INUK also featured in the Times Law Reports, 7 September, 2004.
It was also reported by the University of Bristol at: News item on University of Bristol website