London: Dominic Raab has asked the government’s official law reform body to review the controversial statutory test that has to be applied by the miscarriage of justice watchdog before referring a case back to the Court of Appeal. The Criminal Cases Review Commission, under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995, can only refer cases back to the appeal judges if it believes there is a ‘real possibility that the court will overturn the conviction. There has been increasing concern about the falling number of referrals being made by the watchdog and a perceived reluctance to take on an increasingly hostile Court of Appeal.
Many critics have pointed out that this statutory test has operated as a constraint upon the watchdog including the House of Commons’ Justice committee in its 2015 report and, most recently, the Westminster Commission which argued that the requirement acted as a brake on the group.
Read more: Jon Robins, Justice Gap, https://rb.gy/agptux