Appeal on fresh evidence in criminal cases
Appeal on fresh evidence in criminal cases

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Appeal on fresh evidence in criminal cases
  • The interests of justice test
  • What is fresh evidence?
  • Is the evidence capable of belief?
  • Admission of fresh evidence
  • Prosecution non-disclosure
  • Expert evidence as fresh evidence
  • Newton Hearings
  • Curbs on the admission of fresh evidence
  • Procedure for calling fresh evidence
  • More...

The interests of justice test

The single test for allowing an appeal against conviction is whether the conviction is unsafe. If the grounds of appeal submitted refer to fresh evidence which was not adduced at trial, the same test applies. In order to determine if the conviction is unsafe the Court of Appeal has an over riding power to admit fresh evidence where it is necessary or expedient in the interests of justice.

This applies to appeals against conviction, appeals against sentence and references to the Court of Appeal by the Home Secretary. These powers extend to hearings of applications for leave to appeal as well as the appeal itself or an appeal against the findings of a Newton hearing.

The court can also consider the circumstances of an offender post-sentence based on updated information provided to it by, for example, the prison service or the police in very limited circumstances but these are not treated as fresh evidence appeals. See Practice Note: Receiving credit for and review of sentence following assistance given or withheld by the defendant.

What is fresh evidence?

Fresh evidence is any evidence not adduced in the preceding trial subject to appeal. It may include evidence contained in any document, exhibit or witness statement or item connected with the proceedings. Fresh evidence is not limited to evidence which emerges after the conclusion of the trial.

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