University of Bristol Innocence Project

Introduction

Dr Michael Naughton 2014Dr Michael Naughton established the Innocence Network UK (INUK) in the School of Law, University of Bristol, in September 2004 to undertake casework, research and communications in the area of wrongful convictions.

INUK's casework is undertaken by the innocence project that he subsequently established at the University of Bristol in January 2005, the first innocence project in the UK. Akin to the innocence projects that originated in the US in the early 1990s, the University of Bristol Innocence Project (UoBIP) sees undergraduate and postgraduate law students investigating cases of long-term prisoners maintaining factual innocence under close academic supervision with the pro bono assistance of practising lawyers, forensic scientists and other experts.

It is important to note that the UoBIP is NOT a campaign or victim support organisation and does NOT give legal advice, which will always be given by practicing lawyers where appropriate. Rather, student members investigate individual cases either:

For more details on the establishment of the UoBIP, see:

News

Publications

Events

UoBIP in the Media

Aims

The UoBIP aims to educate students about the wrongful conviction of the innocent and the deficiencies of the criminal justice system through their work on cases of prisoners maintaining innocence who meet the casework criteria of the Innocence Network UK (INUK).

More specifically, the UoBIP offers free assistance to prisoners who fall into all of the following categories:

Casework

Casework is ONLY undertaken following the completion of the annual Innocence Network UK (INUK) National Training Programme for Innocence Projects.

Caseworkers work in pairs on cases or individually on specific aspects of cases.  In so doing, Caseworkers conduct fieldwork investigations, they gather, organise and critically analyse large files of documents and records, they conduct legal research, they draft letters, reports and submissions to public bodies, forensic experts, lawyers, witnesses etc., and they establish and maintain good client relationships.

This requires caseworkers to have the following attributes and skills:

Casework Enquiry

If you feel that you have been wrongly convicted or you are a family member or friend of someone who claims that they have been wrongly convicted please do NOT write to the UoBIP directly.

Instead, please write to the following address with a brief outline of the case:

Innocence Network UK (INUK)
Wills Memorial Building
Queens Road
Bristol BS8 1RJ

You will then be sent an introductory letter that sets out the scope of the INUK and its member innocence projects and a Preliminary Questionnaire to be completed and returned to the INUK.

The INUK will assess if your case is eligible for investigation by a member innocence project based on the details provided in your Preliminary Questionnaire

Contact

If you want to know more about the work of the UoBIP, please write to:

Dr Michael Naughton
Director, University of Bristol Innocence Project
University of Bristol
School of Law
Wills Memorial Building
Queens Road
Bristol
BS8 1RJ