Dr Mai Sato, a Research Officer from the Centre for Criminology, has been awarded a grant from the Fell Fund in order to continue her work as an early career researcher into the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) reviews possible miscarriages of justice. The award will run until June this year.
Mai said: "Those who believe to have been wrongfully convicted - and those who have exhausted other avenues of appeal - can apply to the CCRC to have their case reviewed. The CCRC has the power to refer cases back to the Court of Appeal for a re-hearing of the case. This study will look at the CCRC's handling of asylum cases from two angles: asylum cases involve people who entered the UK as asylum seekers and those who were prosecuted and punished for offences linked to their entry to the UK.
In referring these cases back to the Court of Appeal, the CCRC identified that defence lawyers were routinely providing poor legal advice to these asylum seekers by informing them to plead guilty, even though they had statutory defence. First, it will analyse - through case file review - how asylum cases have been dealt with by the CCRC. Second, the work of the CCRC is not only limited to reviewing cases but is also responsible for feeding back into the rest of the criminal justice agencies systemic learning from its review of cases. While the CCRC has been criticised in the past for not doing enough on providing feedback, this study will examine CCRC's level of engagement with other criminal justice agencies and the responses they received."