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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines exceptional procedures that are used to correct miscarriages of justice in common law systems. Exceptional procedures refer to second or subsequent appeals or extraordinary forms of collateral review after the ordinary appellate or collateral review process has been exhausted. The chapter first provides a historical background on the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which has been operating for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland since 1997, before discussing its composition, powers, applications, how it makes referrals to the court, and systemic reforms designed to reduce wrongful convictions. It also considers the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission (NCIIC), other exceptional American procedures tied to innocence, the creation of a second right of appeal based on “fresh and compelling evidence” in two Australian states, and Canada’s 2002 reform of a system that allows the political executive to grant relief on applications for mercy and clemency.

Keywords: exceptional procedures, miscarriages of justice, CCRC, wrongful convictions, SCCRC, NCIIC, conviction review commissions, innocence, appeal, mercy, clemency

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