Miscarriages of Justice Clinic

Formally known as the Innocence Project, the Miscarriages of Justice Clinic focuses on the study of wrongful criminal convictions, with a view to referral back to the Court of Appeal via the CCRC.

What we do?
Students are involved in investigating real criminal cases with real clients who are currently in prison in England and Wales. Students can join the Miscarriages of Justice Clinic as an extra curricular activity or can choose to incorporate their involvement as part of their studies by undertaking the module Law 382 in their final year. Students are supervised by academics and practitioners and the Clinic is supported by barristers and solicitors who specialise in criminal appeal work. Assistance is provided pro bono to prisoners who maintain their innocence and have exhausted their appeal rights.

What are we working on at the moment?
Depending on student numbers we usually work on between 5-7 cases at any one time. We take any criminal case from England and Wales and have investigated murder, armed robbery, assault, and sexual offences. We have forged links with barristers from Garden Court North Chambers and St Johns Buildings in Manchester, who have provided invaluable support to us in the casework and as guest speakers.

Our Law 382 students also work with the Centre for Criminal Appeals in London who allocate us with a case they are preparing to appeal. This usually involves extensive research and assimilation of a large volume of information.

What do students get out of it?
Student education or training is an important part of the Clinic and involvement provides the opportunity for students to gain experience in areas such as critical thinking and analysis, case management, fact finding, and other skills such as collaboration, teamwork and presentation (oral and written). These skills are now in demand amongst students and increase employability as well as enhancing/building upon skills learnt on other courses.

The Miscarriages of Justice Clinic stimulates team working and encourages students to 'think outside the box.' It requires student liaison with legal professionals and encourages the students to deal with one another in a professional manner, using problem solving, creativity and strategic thinking to move cases forward.

Contact us
If you would like any further information on the Lancaster University Miscarriages of Justice Clinic, please email MJC@lancaster.ac.uk. The Law Clinic Lead Supervisor is Louise Rae.

Please note that the Miscarriages of Justice Clinic only operates in university term time. There may therefore be a delay in our response to emails outside of this time.

If you have a case that you think we can assist you with, please note that we only accept cases where people have exhausted their appeal routes and the only option left is an application to the CCRC. Whilst we do accept enquiries from those who have been released from prison our priority is to provide assistance to prisoners maintaining their innocence who are currently serving a prison sentence in England and Wales. We are unable to assist in international, Northern Irish or Scottish cases.

Please note that we are a student led project and cannot take on all the cases that we receive enquiries for. Your case may not be suitable for us to assist on or it may be placed on a waiting list. In order to determine whether we could look at taking a case on we will ask you to complete an information questionnaire upon receipt of your email enquiry.