Criminal Prosecutions and the Prosecution Disclosure of Evidence
Poor representation by lawyers – appealing against conviction
The arrest, prosecution and in some cases conviction of men and women who had been falsely accused but later exonerated has put the disclosure of evidence very much in the spotlight.
Whether or not the obvious failings in the disclosure process in these tragic cases, and no doubt countless other undetected cases, can be considered deliberate, inadvertent or down to simple incompetence or inexperience is not the important issue; what is important is that there is a major and urgent review of the disclosure process to ensure that cases of this type simply do not happen.
Appeals against conviction
Criticisms of trial lawyers is an issue that the Appeal Courts come across very frequently and often features as an individual ground of appeal.
This article does not seek to dissuade applicants from raising such issues, but rather to specify the tests applied by the Courts and to identify what any complaint will trigger by way of investigation.
Out of time criminal appeals & second opinions
Is there a difference between an ‘unsafe conviction’ and a ‘miscarriage of justice’?
There are undoubtedly many people in prison who simply did not commit the crimes they were convicted of and by that I mean true victims of a miscarriage of justice. But there are even more whose convictions are unsafe.
Unfair evidence and the right to a fair trial
As most readers will know, there is a 28-day time limit in which to lodge an appeal against either conviction or sentence.
This article examines the position of convicted and sentenced inmates who have been told that no appeal grounds exist and who wish to consider the merits of an appeal outside the 28 day limit. Two questions arise. Can these inmates appeal out of time? Should they seek an advice on appeal for a second opinion? The answer is categorically yes to both questions.
Sometimes prosecutions seek to introduce inherently “unfair” evidence into the criminal process.
This article will explain what the legal definition of unfair evidence is, what should be done in the course of a criminal trial to exclude that evidence, and finally, what can be done if you have been convicted on the basis of unfair evidence.