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Criminal Cases Review (Insanity) Act 1999

The Criminal Cases Review Commission

8.The Commission was established by Part II of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995.  It is empowered to review and investigate possible miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.   On 31 March 1997, the Commission took over the powers formerly exercised by the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to refer a conviction or sentence on indictment to the Court of Appeal.  Sections 9(5) and 10(6) of the 1995 Act transferred to the Commission the power to refer the new verdict and finding of not guilty by reason of insanity in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland respectively.  In all cases, the Commission can only make a reference if certain criteria are met (see further paragraph 12 below) and the Court of Appeal has to treat the reference as an appeal against the verdict or finding.  No provision was made for the Commission to refer a verdict of “guilty but insane” to the Court of Appeal.

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