HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 cc1587-8W
Vera Baird

To ask the Solicitor-General if she will take steps to ensure that those whose convictions are reviewed under the process set up after the Angela Cannings decision with no further action resulting are notified that a review has taken place. [172613]

The Solicitor-General

The review of cases identified following the Angela Cannings judgment follows a three-stage review process. First, the relevant CPS areas identify the key features in cases and then they are passed to a Central Review Team comprising prosecutors who are highly experienced in complex criminal casework. A smaller number of cases are then passed to the Interdepartmental Group for final consideration.

The review process is not determinative of whether any conviction is unsafe or not. Offenders legal representatives will be written to where it is felt there may be features which warrant further consideration by either the Court of Appeal or Criminal Cases Review Commission. The Crown Prosecution Service will in each case where an offender is written to make an independent decision on whether to contest the appeal.

As the review process initiated by the Attorney-General is not determinative of the safety of any conviction it is not the intention of the Interdepartmental Group to notify each offender whose case does not contain features identified by the Court of Appeal in Angela Cannings. It is however open to any convicted person if it is felt he or she was wrongly convicted to appeal out of time to the Court of Appeal or to bring the case to the attention of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.