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Criminal Cases Review Commission (Triennial Review)

Volume 551: debated on Friday 19 October 2012

In March 2011 the Government responded to the Public Accounts Committee report “Smaller Government: Shrinking the Quango State” setting out the coalition’s plans for reforming the public bodies sector. It includes the requirement to undertake triennial reviews of Executive and advisory non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent body set up to review possible miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and to refer appropriate cases to the courts. It was established as an Executive non-departmental body on 1 January 1997 by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995.

To deliver the coalition Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability the Criminal Cases Review Commission will be subject to a triennial review. The Ministry of Justice, as the sponsoring Department, has today launched a call for evidence which will last until 14 December 2012 inviting views. In line with Cabinet Office guidance the review will consider the following:

the continuing need for the Criminal Cases Review Commission—both its functions and its form; and

where it is agreed that it should remain, to review the control and governance arrangements in place to ensure that the public body is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

In conducting the triennial review, officials will be engaging with a broad range of stakeholders and users of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The review will be aligned with guidance published by the Cabinet Office: “Guidance on Reviews of Non- Departmental Public Bodies”. The final report and findings will be laid before this House.