Various sources have wrongly reported that Dr Carole McCartney was a co-founder of Innocence Network UK (INUK).
This is not correct.
INUK was founded by Dr Michael Naughton alone who also directed the project for the whole of its life time at the University of Bristol.
It is true, however, that Dr Naughton did work with Dr McCartney (and other interested parties) in 2003/04 on exploring the desirability and feasibility of innocence projects in UK universities as they do in the United States and other jurisdictions.
It is also true that Dr Naughton explored working in collaboration with Dr McCartney and Leeds University to develop INUK, which was expressed in various public meetings and articles.
However, that potential collaboration did not materialise and whilst Dr McCartney is correctly credited with setting up one of the early innocence projects in a UK university (with significant input from Dr Naughton), she did not help in …
When Dr Naughton established the University of Bristol Innocence Project, the first innocence project pro bono law clinic in the UK, he was literally inundated with requests by colleagues and students in other universities to help them to set up innocence project in their universities.
In response to this need, and because there were so many applications and so many eligible cases that needed to be worked on, from January 2005-September 2014, he used INUK as an umbrella organisation for facilitating the establishment of, and supporting the subsequent running of, member innocence projects in the UK . His thinking was simple: the more innocence projects, the more likely it would be for innocent victims of wrongful convictions to overturn their convictions.
During that time, INUK actively assisted in setting up 36 innocence projects – 35 in UK universities and one in a corporate law firm. 20 national training events and conferences were organised …
At the end of this year’s membership (September 2014), INUK will no longer be renewing or taking memberships from universities and/or law firms.
We believe that with more than 30 INUK innocence projects around the country, that this aspect of INUK’s aims has been successfully achieved and that it is now timely for innocence projects to step up as independent enterprises in their own right and with full responsibility for any successes or failures.
This decision is supported by the following:
1. General funding constraints and a growing number of requests on the communications and policy side means that Dr Naughton simply does not have the capacity to continue to operate INUK as a support service for member innocence projects in other universities – assessing all applications, organising national training conferences, etc.
2. INUK has been spending a disproportionate amount of time acting as a support service for member innocence projects and/or other universities who are either not working to …
Supreme Court affirms a positive role for innocence project investigations into alleged wrongful convictions
In a judgment handed down by the Supreme Court on Wednesday 18th June 2014, a positive role for investigations into alleged miscarriages of justice by innocence projects was affirmed and the existing rules for access to evidence post-failed appeal were improved to enable such investigations to occur.
The Supreme Court considered whether there was an obligation upon the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to provide access to evidential material to alleged victims of wrongful convictions on appeal or by way of application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). The CCRC is the statutory, public body that is mandated to review alleged miscarriages of justice and refer them back to the appeal courts if it is felt that there is a real possibility that the conviction will be overturned.
The instant case concerned Kevin Nunn who was convicted of …
Dr Michael Naughton, Reader in Sociology and Law, has been elected to the Innocence Network Board. The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.
The Network Board oversees the work of the Innocence Network. It is composed of 21 members, with two seats reserved for non-US members. Each Board member is elected by a vote of the project directors of member organizations for staggered three-year terms, with no limit on the number of terms served. Based in the United States, the Innocence Network has 49 members in almost all US States and has members in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, South Africa and the UK.
On Thursday 13 March staff and student volunteers with the University of Bristol based Innocence Network UK (INUK) attended the Supreme Court hearing of Nunn v Suffolk Constabulary and Others.
INUK was granted leave to intervene in the matter because of the experience of its member innocence projects in assisting alleged victims of wrongful convictions to make applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). The CCRC is the body that reviews alleged miscarriages of justice and refers cases back to the appeal courts if it is felt that there is a real possibility that the conviction or sentence will not be upheld.
Fellow interveners were JUSTICE, the human rights organisation, and the Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association (CALA). White & Case LLP, London, acted as solicitors for the intervening parties and the barristers were Henry Blaxland QC and David Emanuel, Garden Court …
Review of Criminal Cases Review Commission to reveal how innocent victims of wrongful convictions can still be failed
Click here to download INUK’s Report on the Reform of the CCRC.
Click here for University of Bristol Press Release
A review of the Criminal Cases Review Commission’s (CCRC) effectiveness as the only gateway back to the Court of Appeal for convicted persons who have failed in their first appeal is published today [01 Feb].
Findings from the Innocence Network UK (INUK)-led report has revealed how innocent victims of wrongful convictions can be failed and calls for urgent reforms to ensure innocent victims of wrongful convictions are better assisted.
The Report, comprising a series of recommendations from some of the UK’s leading academic experts, criminal appeal practitioners and former CCRC Commissioners, was collated at a recent INUK symposium to mark the CCRC’s 15th anniversary.
Contributions from victims of wrongful convictions and alleged innocent victims of wrongful conviction who are struggling to achieve a referral …
On the 18th July 2012 the South Australian Legislative Review Committee on the CCRC Bill Reported that it would not be recommending that a CCRC-style body be established in South Australia. Instead, of the seven recomendations, Recommendation 3 was for a new statutory right for certain qualifying offences to provide that a person may be allowed at any time to appeal against a conviction for serious offences if the court is satisfied that:
the conviction is tainted;
where there is fresh and compelling evidence in relation to the offence which may cast reasonable doubt on the guilt of the convicted person.
Recommendation 5 was that the Attorney-General considers establishing a Forensic Science Review Panel to enable the testing or re-testing of forensic evidence which may cast reasonable doubt on the guilt of a convicted person, and for these results to be referred to …
The Innocence Network UK (INUK) today, publishes a dossier of 44 cases of alleged innocent victims of wrongful conviction. All of these cases have been refused a referral back to the Court of Appeal at least once by the Criminal Cases Review Commission despite continuing doubts about the evidence that led to their convictions.
The cases included in the dossier comprise mainly of prisoners who are serving life or long-term sentences for serious offences, ranging from gangland murders, armed robbery, rape and other sexual offences. All of them continue to maintain that they have no involvement at all in the offences they were convicted of despite having failed in their appeal and refused a referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. They assert that they were wrongly convicted due to reasons including fabricated confessions, eyewitness misidentification, police misconduct, flawed expert evidence, …
Press Release (15/12/2011): INUK Issues Public Statement on the Limitations of the Criminal Cases Review Commission
Innocent people are still languishing in prison despite a publicly funded body that was set up to assist them to overturn their wrongful convictions. The Innocence Network UK (INUK) calls today for the reform of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) — the last resort for innocent victims of wrongful conviction.
Fifteen years on since the Criminal Cases Review Commission was established following a recommendation of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice in the wake of notorious cases such as the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, a growing mountain of cases is emerging that reveal the CCRC is not fit for the purpose of helping the innocent to overturn their wrongful convictions.
Since its establishment in September 2004, the Innocence Network UK (INUK) has received over …