Information to the person applying for reopening of a criminal case

The Criminal Cases Review Commission determines whether a final judgment should be retried by the courts. The procedures of the Commission ensure a thorough, objective and independent review.

If you want to have your case reopened, please send in a written application. The application form is available here.

There is no time limit for applying for reopening. 

If you are not assisted by a lawyer, the Commission will provide the necessary guidance, including a meeting with one of the Commission’s legal officers. The Commission will also examine your case and ensure that any relevant information is gathered, for example by interviewing witnesses or appointing expert witnesses. 

Therefore, the assistance of a lawyer or private investigator is normally not necessary. If you still want to be assisted by a lawyer, you will usually have to cover the expenses yourself. Where special circumstances are present, the Commission may appoint a defence counsel at public expense.  

A case can be reopened on several different grounds, for example when a witness has given a false statement in the case, new evidence is presented, or special circumstances cast doubt on the correctness of the conviction. 

Your case will be reopened if the Commission finds that the statutory conditions are met. The case will then be retried by the courts. 

Should you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us.