Miscarriages of justice occur because, as with any system, mistakes are made.
Any eligible person or a representative can apply to the CCRC for it to refer a conviction or sentence to an appeal court.
Our Commissioners’ role is to accept or decline applications. When an application is received it will be assessed. The Commissioners review the assessment and either refer it for a full investigation or decline the application.
There is a range of factors we must consider when assessing an application, including whether the applicant has exhausted all appeal rights, whether there is fresh evidence and the prospects of a referral succeeding.
Reports will be produced on applications that are referred for a full investigation. The Commissioners review the investigation report and decide whether or not to refer the case to the court.
After we make our decision, we will get in contact with you to let you know the outcome.
Then a short media release will be issued, and a summary of the decision made available on this website.
We do not decide guilt or innocence. If your case is referred, you will be given a new hearing in an appeal court.
We will publish a fuller version of how it works in due course.
Information on your case will not be made public. However, once we notify an applicant or their representative of the decision on whether a case will be referred to an appeal court, we must make our decision and the reasons for it, publicly available.
You, as the applicant, will be sent a Preliminary Statement of Reasons prior to the Commission making its final referral decision. The Commission will give you a chance to comment on the statement of reasons and we will ask you if there is anything else that the Commission should consider before making its final decision.
Any complaints about the CCRC should be addressed to the Chief Commissioner in writing.
We have the power to make inquiries into a general matter on our own initiative if we identify a practice, policy, procedure or other matter we consider may be related to cases involving a miscarriage of justice or may give rise to such cases.
If we are satisfied that there are reasonable grounds and it would be in the public interest, we may conduct an inquiry into that matter and report to the Minister of Justice.