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Cover English Legal System

18. Criminal and civil appeals  

As seen in previous chapters, the appeal court system in England and Wales is hierarchical. This chapter is concerned with the various mechanisms by which the decisions of courts may be appealed or reviewed. It explores the grounds for appeals in criminal cases, including the concepts of ‘fresh evidence’ and ‘lurking doubt’. If a criminal appeal has been dismissed, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which was set up to examine potential miscarriages of justice, may refer a case back to the appeal court in certain circumstances. The chapter highlights some of the criticisms of the CCRC’s role and effectiveness. The avenues of appeal in civil cases are also discussed.