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The SCCRC have done some good work but in more recent times there is an appearance of them being 'gatekeepers' for the Scottish Government - the lack of referrals back on Cadder which would have selectively increased MOJ success rates is questionable given their stance on this subject.

The Chamberlain-Davidson case exposes this mindset. Here we had a case referred back on distress by the SCCRC with no mention of Cadder. Cadder was added as a ground by the appellant and the conviction quashed on that basis, so clearly we have the Court & SCCRC as part of one fully integrated criminal justice system applying a different 'interests of justice' test.

This does not present a picture of an independent review. Other concerns are:-

(1) Mrs Jean Couper, Chairman, going out to lunch with Lord Carloway, when he was the subject of a heavy duty complaint/ referral by the SCCRC (Far too cosy and does not present a picture of 'independence');

(2) Mr Michael Hanlon of the Crown Office working on secondment to the SCCRC as a Case Officer and reviewing acts and omissions by the COPFS.

The whole system is rotten to the core, involves far too many members of the legal profession and is not representative of society as a whole isank.e.. police, tradesmen, bank managers, bus drivers, teachers etc.

I know of one example in Cadder whereby a member of the Board allegedly gave a view on Cadder to both police and an appellant; and the Crown used the same view in another Cadder sibling case. Not content with this, the same person sat on the scots courts rules council alongside several judges hearing these cases!!!!! The only part missing is this member also sitting as a judge on Cadder cases.

I also know of a case that the SCCRC are awaiting a decision on SLAB funding to the UKSC as to whether they will refer this back into the Scots Court, to save themselves from major embarrassment if the interests of justice test, what they don't know what this consists of, is exposed. What has affordability got to do with a SCCRC referral, surely its on technical merit?

AN INDEPENDENT SCCRC - In no way shape or form. Are they are just an
extension of the Court and Scottish Government puppets?


Surely the position of the Chief Executive of the SCCRC has to be seen as independent and impartial from the justice system

Does the position of Temporary Sheriff highlight a possible conflict of interest?

Gerard Sinclair:
Iain McKie

As I have stated before the time is long overdue for a long hard look at the SCCRC and the way the Appeal Court appears to have  emasculated  it.

In 2011 Michael Naughton, Founder and Director, Innocence Network U.K. (INUK) published a paper , ‘The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Innocence Versus Safety and the Integrity of the Criminal Justice System’. It is well worth a read as the SCCRC and CCRC share common failings.

The central message of the article, then, is that there is an urgent need to review the workings of the CCRC within its own jurisdiction and for wide-ranging reforms so that it can fulfil its public mandate as envisaged by the RCCJ……The CCRC is not currently doing the job that it was thought to be set up to do in its own jurisdiction.


According to SCCRC Legal Officer Michael Hanlon's CV he was employed by the Crown for 8 years and 4 months and during that period he worked on secondment to the SCCRC for 3 years 6 months.

In my opinion, how could there be any 'separation of powers?' - here we have a guy working on MOJ cases where his employer, the Crown, are opposing the person he is representing?

Ruddy v Strathclyde identifies the Convention compliant need for 'structural independence'.

Such acts bring the criminal justice system into utter disrepute and severely damage public confidence in the ability of the system to remedy MOJ's. How many MOJ applicants have had this COPFS EMPLOYEE involved in any way, shape or form in their case? If so, see a lawyer regarding the merits of Judicial Review and suing the SCCRC!!!!  

Michael Hanlon
Head of Legal and Executive Office
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
April 2012 – Present (3 years)

Scottish Court Service
Judicial Secretary to the Lord President
Scottish Court Service
November 2007 – April 2012 (4 years 6 months)

Procurator Fiscal Depute
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
August 1999 – November 2007 (8 years 4 months)

Legal Officer (Secondment)
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
March 2004 – August 2007 (3 years 6 months)

Glasgow Graduate School of Law
LLM (Dist), Human Rights

2005 – 2007

The University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow
LLB (Hons), Law

1994 – 1999
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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.