This year sees the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the last Royal Commission on Criminal Justice. That commission was chaired by Viscount Runciman of Doxford, whose death was reported in December.

The 1991 commission was established in the aftermath of a number of appalling mis carriages that had come to light in previous years. Its remit was a wide one: "…to examine the criminal justice system from the stage at which the police are investigating …right through to the stage at which a defendant who has been found guilty of such an offence has exhausted his or her rights of appeal."

As we wait for the establishment of the next Royal Commission, announced by
the government in 2019, Russell-Cooke partner Martin Rackstraw reflects in New Law Journal on the role of Viscount Runciman and his colleagues in shaping the criminal justice landscape of today.

Royal commissions & criminal justice is available to read on the New Law Journal via subscription.

Martin is a partner in the fraud and criminal litigation team. He represents individuals facing serious allegations, particularly homicide, sexual allegations and drug matters. He is experienced in advising 'professionals' who face criminal allegations, such as teachers, journalists, lawyers, accountants and company officers. He has also worked on cases involving historic sexual allegations and has been instructed in sensitive cases involving allegations of assisting or encouraging suicide. He defends in police investigations and prosecutions, but also has an interest, and expertise, in investigating and challenging convictions in miscarriage of justice cases.