The revelation of miscarriages of justice can lead a criminal justice
system to a crisis point, which can be capitalized upon to engineer legal
reforms. In England and Wales, these reforms have included the
establishment of three bodies: the Court of Criminal Appeal, the
Criminal Cases Review Commission, and the Forensic Regulator. With
differing remits, these institutions are all intended to address
miscarriages of justice. After outlining the genesis of these bodies, we
question whether these three institutions are achieving their specific
goals. This Article then outlines the benefits accrued from the
establishment of these bodies and the controversies that surround their
operation. At present, both individually and collectively, these
institutions represent a partial solution to miscarriages of justice.
However, this Article argues that calls for a greater focus upon
“actual” innocence made in light of this partial success are misguided.
Such a refocusing may have the unintended consequence of fostering a
climate where miscarriages of justice flourish. The rights of all suspects
need protection, and due process concerns have the concomitant benefit
of protecting the innocent from wrongful conviction. A blinkered
approach to “miscarriages” will not necessarily assist the wrongfully
convicted and may even increase their number.