Start your claim

August 1st 2018

Civil Liberties

Review of 306 rape convictions casts doubt over prosecutions and body meant to uncover miscarriages of justice

Karl Griffin

Karl Griffin

Litigation Executive and Team Supervisor, Civil Liberties

Review of 306 rape convictions casts doubt over prosecutions and body meant to uncover miscarriages of justice

In our work representing people who are wrongly accused and convicted of even the most minor crimes, we see the huge, life-changing impact it can have on lives.

In our work representing people who are wrongly accused and convicted of even the most minor crimes, we see the huge, life-changing impact it can have on lives.

People’s reputations can be forever damaged, family relationships can be strained, and victims can see their working careers affected also.

It is often very difficult for any accused individual to shake off the stigma of being arrested and charged with a crime.

It is why we rely on police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to do all during investigations to ensure charges are brought on the basis of full, and fair investigations.

Imagine the scale of impact on life of being wrongful convicted for rape.

It is hard to imagine how any rape conviction could happen without all elements of an investigation being fully disclosed between prosecutors and defending solicitors.

Yet, we now find ourselves in a position where 306 rape convictions between April 2016 and March 2018 are being revisited by the public body responsible for investigating potential miscarriages of justice.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) is doing so because of concerns that it may have failed to identify disclosure failings in past reviews.

There are obviously two major concerns here over the workings of our justice system.

Firstly, we have already seen high-profile rape cases collapse in the past year where people have been charged and named, only for the cases against them to be dropped because crucial evidence – which indicated their innocence – was not disclosed by police and prosecutors to defending teams.

Now, there are questions over the strength and reliability of the public body in place to investigate possible miscarriages of justice, with allegations of ‘piecemeal checks’ rather than reviewing all police and prosecution files to look for any wrongly withheld evidence.

Internal CCRC board minutes, revealed on the BBC programme Panorama, showed that a senior CCRC commissioner had doubts that the body was doing the work necessary to identify miscarriages of justice caused by disclosure failings.

In a statement about the revisiting of more than 300 cases, the CCRC said it would be ‘considering its own previous approach to the disclosure process in the prosecution in question’, with the conclusions of its internal review reported by March 2019.

For somebody potentially wrongfully convicted in April 2016 – which would no doubt have come after a long period of time with the charge hanging over them – this will offer little consolation.

Innocent people need to be better protected from wrongful convictions, by police, prosecutors and by the CCRC.

Innocent until proven guilty – with all evidence considered – is what underpins our justice system. This cannot be allowed to change.

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Highly recommended"

Excellent service and communication from start to finish. The whole process of handling my personal injury claim was dealt with quickly and courteously.

MikeNovember 26, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Becci was amazing"

Becci was amazing, she was so friendly and helpful and couldn’t have done a better job at helping me with my claim. Very happy.

Katherine JanineNovember 08, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Quick honest service"

Quick honest service, smooth process with excellent staff

MR COOPEROctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers…"

HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers whit amazing customers service. I got pretty good deal only because of them I'm quite happy I chose Hudgell solicitor.

DominikOctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good all round service"

Good all round service

John AndrewOctober 19, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Efficient"

Quick, efficient service provided by Jayne Woodock. Would definitely contact Hudgell Solicitors again in the future if the need arises

KerryOctober 10, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you"

I have never had to go down the route of claiming for anything like this so when I was advised to do so I did some research and Hugell Solicitors caught my eye. And I’m so glad I picked them, everything was explained well and helped with any questions I…

ZoeOctober 04, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"No problems from start to finish for my…"

No problems from start to finish for my claim.Kept updated regularly and a good outcome even though the defendants were being evasive. Thanks.

r3monkeyOctober 03, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Very professional,efficient service,informative and friendly service. I would highly recommend Hudgell solicitors.

HelenOctober 01, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good experience"

Good experience

Margaret ElizabethAugust 31, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Friendly, helpful and professional.

M J JAugust 09, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"I would recommend this firm of…solicitor to anyone"

I would recommend this firm of solicitor to anyone I have had a 5 star treatment from Jayne woodcock I cant praise her enough she kept me informed every step of my claim and I cannot thank her enough excellent Jimmy Mcdermott

Jimmy McJuly 28, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and thorough"

Very helpful and thorough. The team kept me updated throughout. Thank you

EsmeJuly 25, 2019