Post-conviction disclosure in England and Wales: could conviction integrity units (CIUs) modelled on those in the USA be the way forward?

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Abstract

Conviction integrity units (CIUs) operate out of a small number of prosecutors' offices in the USA, and these have since 2007 contributed to several exonerations. In England and Wales, there are obstacles in place that prevent post-conviction disclosure for virtually anyone other than the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the body that in effect screens cases for the Court of Appeal. The article examines whether CIUs modelled on those in the USA could be the way forward to help those who have been wrongfully convicted. It is concluded that such units could be useful in England and Wales, and may benefit from being run by a publicly elected post similar to the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) implemented in 2012, as this would ensure greater democratic governance and oversight. It is further concluded that improved third party access to post-conviction disclosure is urgently needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100338
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Law, Crime and Justice
Volume59
Early online date27 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • criminal appeals
  • post-conviction disclosure
  • conviction integrity unit
  • open justice
  • wrongful conviction
  • miscarriages of justice

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