Our role is to review potential miscarriage of justice cases and refer appropriate cases back to an appeal court.

If a person convicted of a criminal offence believes they have been wrongly convicted or sentenced, they can apply to have their conviction, sentence, or both reviewed. Our Commissioners will review the case and decide whether a referral should be made.

We are an independent Crown entity that employs specialist staff to investigate possible miscarriage of justice cases.

We have procedures that ensure the investigation process is responsive to Māori and Pacific peoples so that we are reflecting our country’s diversity.

We are independent of Ministers, the courts and relevant Crown organisations such as the Police, the Department of Corrections, the Ministry of Justice and the Crown Law Office. The Minister of Justice oversees the Crown's interest in the CCRC and is answerable to Parliament for that responsibility.

The test to refer a case to an appeal court is whether we consider it in the interests of justice. We must consider a range of factors when making a referral decision, including whether the convicted person has exhausted all appeal rights, whether there is fresh evidence and the prospects of a referral succeeding.

We have the power to do our own investigations and report the findings to the Minister of Justice if we believe it is in the interests of justice.

We also have a range of tools to ensure our investigations are thorough, such as an ability to access information which might have previously been held back.