Criminal Appeals

We pride ourselves on our legal expertise and are often asked to review cases with a view to establishing whether there are any grounds for challenging a decision of the prosecuting authorities and/or the court, or appealing an accused’s conviction and/or sentence.

In your Criminal Appeal-whether we acted for you in your original matter, or if you were represented by another firm, you can call upon our extensive experience to analyse your legal position.

It has become common for government ministers to claim that miscarriages of justice are a thing of the past. Yet in our experience more people are wrongly convicted today than ever before.

Criminal Appeals have become even harder to win in recent times. For 30 years governments have competed to be the toughest on crime. Successive governments have passed Acts of Parliament reducing protections for the accused and making it easier to get convictions.

Amongst some of the main provisions leading to miscarriages of justice are:

  • Telling the jury about the defendant’s character and other changes in the law
  • Cuts in funding to pay for lawyers
  • More generous funding for prosecution experts than for defence

Huge incentives have been created within the criminal justice process for those who give evidence for the Crown in such a context miscarriages of justice can occur all too easily.

Now there is talk of removing the need for ‘corroboration’ thus taking away what many consider to be protection against miscarriages of justices.

The fact is that the system is heavily weighted against the accused. Both the police and Crown Prosecution expend huge resources on investigations while legal aid lawyers are subject to limited public funding.

Meanwhile the media have campaigned relentlessly against “criminals”. No-one anticipates the effect this has on juries until it happens to them. Then it is too late.

We have a record of success at Criminal Appeals, based on a thorough analysis of what goes wrong at trial, a relentless search for new evidence and extensive experience of presenting cases in the Court of Appeal.

Criminal Appeals – How?

It may be that there was a failure in representation which gives rise to a ground of appeal or that new evidence has emerged which was not available at the original trial, whatever the possible grounds we will explore all avenues for an appeal. (See our section of the website on Forensic Science)

This may involve taking Criminal Appeals all the way to the Supreme Court or assisting you to make representations to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (“SCCRC”), and whatever your position, if you have grounds for a Criminal Appeal , we will find them and work closely with some of Scotland’s finest minds in appeal advocacy.