THE LONG-AWAITED review body for investigating miscarriages of justice begins its legislative journey amid fears that its independence could be compromised.
Campaigning group Justice argues the Criminal Cases Review Commission, should have its own team of investigators rather than using police.
Justice has also raised concerns that commission members will be appointed by the Government and will not be independently selected.
Director Anne Owers says the investigation process is pivotal to the commission's success. But the bill makes no provision for police funding at a time when authorities' budgets are being capped.
"Police authorities must be able to call on the resources they need to undertake thorough inquiries," she says.
Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor has welcomed the introduction of the bill into Parliament. "Some matters may require further consideration, but the broad thrust of the bill has my whole-hearted support," he says.