Imran asked the Minister about the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
Imran Ahmad Khan MP: The Criminal Cases Review Commission is the only body in its area of jurisdiction with the authority to send cases back to an appeal court. It is imperative that this process must not be delayed, as it has the propensity to overturn cases and clear the names of those innocent of conviction. Can my right hon. and learned Friend outline the steps that he is taking to ensure that the CCRC enacts its duty in a timely manner, especially for more sensitive cases, including those of our frontline workers and police officers, such as my constituent Danny Major? Mr Major has been miserably let down by the CCRC.
Minister (responding): My hon. Friend raises an extremely important point. I understand his consternation on behalf of his constituent and his wish that that case in particular be dealt with speedily. No doubt the commission will have paid attention to his concern. We have recently invested significantly in the commission, with hundreds of thousands of pounds in capital funding to ensure that its IT is up to scratch. It is within a whisker of reaching its target of 36 weeks as the average time taken to deal with a case, and of 85% of cases being dealt with in under 12 months. It is very important for the integrity of the judicial system not only that we convict the guilty, but that we make sure that innocent people who are erroneously convicted have their sentences corrected.