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Innocence week

25 March 2011

Innocence week

Cardiff Law School is hosting its first ever week of events (28th- 1st April 2011) designed to raise public awareness of miscarriages of justice.

The week has been organised by law students involved in the University’s Pro Bono Scheme which offers students the chance to work on real cases, supervised by practising lawyers, and review serious criminal convictions where prisoners maintain their innocence.

The events provide an opportunity for students, staff and members of the public to find out more about the criminal appeal system and the difficulties faced by those wrongfully convicted of serious crimes.

Alanna Tregear, Student Innocence Officer for the Student Law Society, who helped organise Innocence Week said: "'The Innocence Week is an opportunity for the students and members of staff involved to highlight the work done within the Cardiff Law School Innocence project, raise awareness of our cases we are currently working on and educate fellow students and members of the public about the important problem of miscarriages of justice."

A number of key events have been arranged including a ‘Question Time’ style event with miscarriage of justice survivor, Michael O’Brien of ‘The Cardiff Newsagent Three’.

The event takes place on Thursday 31st March at 6.30pm at Cardiff Law School with additional members of the panel including John Cooper QC, a leading human rights barrister and honorary Professor at Cardiff Law School, Glyn Maddocks, a solicitor with 25 years experience and Criminal Cases Review Commissioner, Ewen Smith.

On Tuesday 29th March, the School will also host a play: The Nettie Hewins Story, based on the "Merthyr Three", one of Wales’ most notorious cases of miscarriages of justice.

Dr Dennis Eady, Chair of South Wales against Wrongful Conviction, said: "Students from the Cardiff Law School Innocence Project are providing valuable help to South Wales against Wrongful Conviction, a voluntary group which offers support to victims of miscarriages of justice and their families and friends.

"Innocence week reflects their concern about this sad and disturbing issue and their determination to try to do something about it. Their efforts are much appreciated."

The Cardiff Law School Innocence Project was set up in 2005, following significant interest from students in the area of criminal law and, in particular, miscarriages of justice.

Students work under the supervision of practising solicitors and barristers on cases of long-term prisoners maintaining their innocence of serious crimes for which they have been convicted.

In 2010, Cardiff Law School submitted six cases for review to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The progress of ‘The Cardiff Six’ cases can be viewed at: www.law.cf.ac.uk/probono/innocence/casewatch

Further information is available at: www.law.cf.ac.uk/newsandevents/events_pdf/462.pdf or by contacting, Julie Price on 029 2087 5610 or e-mail: PriceJA1@cf.ac.uk.

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