Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre

MJRC LogoThe Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre provides Sheffield law students with a unique opportunity to investigate cases of people convicted of serious crimes who are maintaining their innocence.

Legal aid isn’t available to such people once they have exhausted the initial appeals process, so here’s where our law students really make a difference, by offering their services free of charge.

Our student volunteers aim to find fresh evidence to support our clients’ claims of innocence and use it in making applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission for clients’ cases to be reviewed for referral to the Court of Appeal.

In teams led by students themselves and supervised by the project directors, MJRC student investigators;

  • manage cases
  • conduct intensive reviews
  • write letters, reports and applications on behalf of clients
  • visit clients in prison
  • visit crime scenes
  • interview witnesses

The project is innovative in giving students a unique first-hand experience and insight into this area of criminal justice utilising a mentored teaching environment to maximize learning opportunities.

Skills gained through the project enable students to be more equipped for professional practice beyond their studies making them more attractive to potential employers.

What our student volunteers say

Photo of Nicola Campbell"I have learned how to effectively interact with a client. I discovered that the most important aspect of client discussions was not what I had to say, but rather it was to listen carefully to what they have to say. One of my biggest fears when I started the [MJRC] project was how I was supposed to empathise with someone whose situation I could not relate to, but I found with a little experience that it was easy to do if I just listened." 

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Nicola Campbell, MJRC Student Manager 2017-18

Photo of James Cairns"Volunteering with the MJRC has been the best thing to happen to me at university. It has opened up so many opportunities for me to meet interesting people and gain many new skills. I would whole heartedly recommend applying to take part to any law student interested in criminal law and the justice system as a whole. It allows students to get to know other students from a variety of years of study and breaks down barriers which otherwise would prevent people meeting. That is not to even mention that the work is vital to helping those who have been wrongfully convicted - an invaluable life line for those who have little other option left. I really cannot champion the project enough."

James Cairns, MJRC Student Manager 2015-16

The Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre can be contacted by emailing mjrc@sheffield.ac.uk