This article concerns the little-known and rarely-exercised power of the Criminal Cases Review Commission ("the Commission") to refer a conviction imposed in summary proceedings to the Crown Court. The central contention of the article is that the statutory test for referral of such cases can only properly be understood in light of the role of the Crown Court when dealing with a referred appeal. What emerges is a power to refer that is completely different from (and much wider than) the power to refer cases to the Court of Appeal. 1 Although the Commission has acknowledged the different approach of the two appellate forums, 2 it is not reflected in the number of referrals that are made. It is argued that insufficient thought was given in the drafting of the legislation to the different nature of summary appeals and the Commission is consequently placed in a difficult position in applying the real possibility test. Ultimately, the real possibility test is inadequate when dealing with summary appeals and there should be a fundamental review of the Commission's function in this area.
|Criminal Law Review
|Published - Feb 2006