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The National Training Conference for students and other independent investigators starts tomorrow. These are people who are reviewing cases of people in prison who claim to be innocent of the crimes of which they were convicted.
Undergraduate students working in pro bono innocence projects and miscarriage of justice review centres (IPs for short) in universities across the UK are the target conference participants. They give their own time to help people seeking justice, for
whom all other sources of help have been exhausted: private funds and legal aid have run out, and no one else can research their cases and prepare applications for them.
IPs recruit intelligent, committed students and aim to give them the training they need to thoroughly review cases assigned to them. They need to learn how to organise the many files that arrive in their offices, to understand how cases have been investigated
and prepared for trial, to find any evidence that supports the claims of their clients, and to present it in effective applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
IP students need the knowledge and skills that enable them to come up their own ideas of how fresh evidence might be found. As anyone who has been paying attention to recent criminal cases, nearly all of this ‘fresh’ evidence is already there
in material acquired by police investigators but never disclosed to defence lawyers. We have therefore assembled experts in following fields:
Joint enterprise prosecutions, in which innocent people are convicted just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Speaking and leading conference sessions will be:
The chaotic state of the disclosure system, responsible for many wrongful convictions because evidence gathered by the police which would help suspects is not passed on to them, will be explored through recent high profile cases, including those of:
Poor preparation of cases by defence lawyers. Everyone in prison who is claiming to be innocent criticises their trial lawyers. Dr Andrew Green, Director of the Sheffield MJRC at the University and founder of INNOCENT how to investigate and make
use of these claims.
Protected and vulnerable witnesses and allegations of sexual assault. Brigid Baillie, barrister at Garden Court North, explains ‘special measures’ hearings and the problems with cross examining vulnerable witnesses.
Finally students, experts, leading lawyers and MPs come together to discuss how to take forward the campaign to eradicate the scourge of miscarriage of justice. The Conference has been organised by Professor Claire McGourlay of the University of Manchester
and Dr Andrew Green of the University of Sheffield.
For further information on National Training Conference on Investigating Miscarriages of Justice 2018 - The School of Law at the University of Manchester, sponsored by Clyde & Co. and LexisNexis, click here.
0330 161 1234