Flood of cases for review commission

The newly launched Criminal Cases Review Commission had received 53 applications to review suspected miscarriages of justice, days before it officially opened last week.

The commission, a non-departmental body established to investigate suspected miscarriages of criminal justice, already has to review 180 cases which have transferred from the Home Office.

A spokesman for the commission was confident that, despite the latest influx, the newly established body could cope.

“At the moment we have about 40 staff in place. The intention is to eventually have about 65,” he said.

The commission anticipates receiving six cases a day compared to the two to three cases a day which were handled by the Home Office.

Unlike the Home Office, the CCRC will be taking on cases which have been dealt with summarily by the magistrates courts, English and Welsh crown court cases, and county court cases within Northern Ireland.

Cases from the lower courts are expected to make up the majority of the Commission's work.

Of the 53 applications already received, six were from Northern Ireland and the remainder from England.