Criminal Appeals Pro Bono
The Criminal Appeals Pro Bono team aims to provide a free service to people seeking to appeal their conviction to the Court of Appeal or the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). Our objective is to help overturn miscarriages of justice, including convictions which are unsafe and unfair sentences. The team have experience with a range of cases and evidence types including homicide, ‘joint enterprise’, rape and sexual offences, scientific and forensic evidence, CCTV evidence, and many more areas.
What can you expect from us
The Pro Bono team are here to help review your case and assess whether it is suitable for appeal. If we believe it is suitable for appeal to either the Court of Appeal or the CCRC then we will draft the application. If external counsel is needed, we have ties with top criminal sets around the country which we will instruct at our expense.
To fulfil this aim, we analyse your existing case material from top to bottom, including any ‘unused material’. This means combing through documents, reports, and videos. As part of this analysis, we may find potential avenues for fresh evidence such as by interviewing witnesses or requesting for new scientific testing report.
In our experience, many defendants to not understand why they have been convicted and the criminal court process more generally. Regardless of whether we come to the conclusion your case is appealable or not, when we review your case we will explain to you what we believe to be the reasons why you were convicted and the appeal process in general.
Is your case suitable for our service?
- One of the core aims of our pro bono service is to provide assistance to those of little financial means who cannot afford the expenses of fee-paying legal advice. As such, we will prioritise cases where clients are of little financial means before taking on those who have the financial capability for fee-paying advice.
- Your case needs to have merit for an appeal. Typically cases with merit mean you can answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the following questions:
- Do you believe your trial was unfair?
- Has significant fresh evidence has come to light since the conviction?
- Has there has been a significant change to the law related to the conviction?
- Do you believe your sentence was manifestly excessive?
- You are serving a custodial sentence of more than two years.
- Your conviction needs to have been handed down by a court in the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
- Please note our decision whether to take on your case is at our discretion and will take into account the resources available at the material time.
- Your name/ name of defendant (plus your relation to defendant if not the person in question);
- Where you/ the defendant is imprisoned;
- Conviction type and sentence length;
- State which of the ‘merit’ questions you can answer with ‘yes’, along with a short overview of why you believe the answer to be ‘yes’.