An Analysis of Disclosure Failings in Murder Appeals against Conviction 2006–2018

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This article considers alleged disclosure failings in relation to the offence of
murder. A sample of 58 murder appeals against conviction, and renewed
applications for permission to appeal, has been analysed. The article highlights
what kind of errors are most frequently alleged to have occurred, and which are
most likely to lead to the quashing of a conviction. Particular issues are highlighted around the police handling of key prosecution witnesses, which is found to be a significant source of undisclosed material. The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)’s interpretation of the safety test in disclosure cases is critiqued. The recent implementation of the National Disclosure Improvement Plan has highlighted the necessity of cultural change with regards to disclosure. Some of the cases within this sample evidence the need for cultural change. It is suggested that more straightforward messaging by the Court of Appeal would assist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-722
JournalCriminal Law Review
Issue number8
Early online date11 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020


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