Miscarriages of justice occur as a result of unsafe convictions and findings and inappropriate sentences. In cases involving expert psychiatric evidence it is possible that the way evidence is presented by experts or interpreted by the courts has a direct bearing on the case. Using illustrative cases from the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, advice is offered to expert psychiatric witnesses on ways to reduce the likelihood of contributing to such miscarriages of justice and on how they may assist in rectifying such miscarriages, should they occur.
After reading this article you will be able to:
• understand the place of criminal appeals in the criminal justice system in England and Wales
• understand what may go wrong in the provision of psychiatric evidence and how expert psychiatric evidence can assist in the administration of justice
• be able to reduce the risk of unsafe convictions and inappropriate sentences when providing expert psychiatric evidence, including for cases referred to the Court of Appeal and the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST