CCRC Refers the convictions of the Shrewsbury 24 to the Court of Appeal
The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred for appeal the convictions of eight members of the Shrewsbury 24. These cases concern a major event in trade union history that has long been regarded as a miscarriage of justice.
Convicted members of the Shrewsbury 24, supported by the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign, had asked the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to refer their 1973/74 convictions to the Court of Appeal on the basis of a number of grounds, including: (i) recently discovered evidence that original witness statements had been destroyed and that this fact had not been disclosed to the defence counsel; and (ii) the broadcast of a highly prejudicial documentary during the first trial, the content of which was contributed to by a covert agency within the Foreign Office known as the Information Research Department. The CCRC initially refused to make that referral.
The applicants pursued judicial review on behalf of the wider group, represented by Danny Friedman QC, Jamie Potter of Bindmans LLP, Rhona Friedman of Commons Law CIC and Ben Newton of Doughty Street Chambers. The CCRC conceded the judicial review during the course of the hearing.
A fresh application was submitted on the applicants behalf. The CCRC has now announced that these long running cases will finally return to the Court of Appeal on the basis that there is a real possibility that the convictions will be found to be unsafe.