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Wrongful convictions of refugees and asylum seekers: responses by the Criminal Cases Review Commission

Sato, M., Hoyle, C. and Speechley, N.-E. (2017) Wrongful convictions of refugees and asylum seekers: responses by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Criminal Law Review, 2017 (2). pp. 106-122. ISSN 0011-135X

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Abstract/Summary

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) reviews possible miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland when applicants have exhausted other avenues of appeal, with a view to referring unsafe convictions back to the appeal court. This article considers the CCRC’s handling of applications from refugees and asylum seekers who claim to have been wrongly convicted of entering the UK illegally. These cases commonly relate to people who could not obtain travel documents lawfully and were erroneously advised by defence lawyers that they should plead guilty. The article first examines the sources of these wrongful convictions by reviewing CCRC referrals to the appeal court. It then reviews the CCRC’s wider engagement with other criminal justice agencies in an effort to prevent further wrongful convictions of refugees and asylum seekers. The failing of the criminal justice agencies to properly protect refugees and asylum seekers reflects a wider anxiety about the negative effects of immigration, and the societal appetite to use punitive measures to control immigration. The article concludes by arguing that the CCRC’s campaign was effective, and demonstrates the importance of inter-agency communication in preventing miscarriages of justice.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:68811
Publisher:Sweet and Maxwell

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