Undergraduate Criminal Law Reflective Report Sample

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Reflective Report: Miscarriages of Justice

The statement “miscarriage of justice’’ denotes a situation where a court or judicial system fails to achieve the ultimate course of justice, especially in instances where an innocent person is wrongfully convicted. The Cardiff Three case is a typical illustration of an aborted justice process caused by evidence fabrication and suppression of documents that would have granted them freedom.

The three were convicted and jailed for murdering a newsagent in 1987.After serving for more than a decade in jail, Stephen Miller and Tony Paris filed for compensation over damages for crimes they did not commit. Police misconduct further contributed to the collapse of the trial of police officers accused of framing the three men of murder.Crucial evidence was lost, and the accused police were formally granted freedom.This is a typical illustration of a botched justice system. Even after causing damage to an innocent person, the perpetrators can still walk free based on the “absence of evidence.”

The phrase “it is better for ten criminals to escape than one innocent person suffers” sums up and emphasizes the flaws and injustices of the criminal justice system. A just society can never judge or punish innocent people. A just society will always apprehend and punish criminals. Unfortunately, this seems impossible in the society we live in.

Therefore, misdiagnosis/botched verdict is more common than is generally known or accepted in the criminal justice system. The prevalence of miscarriage of justice should be considered a very serious problem in our society. If a society cannot trust the laws that govern it, the consequences will be dire, including the possibility of social collapse.

To create a just society, the criminal justice system must act fairly to both the accused and the complainant.I believe the justice system needs reforms in its structure and procedure for administering justice. This is because the existing system proves to have failed to grant justice for all and goes to the extent of causing harm to the innocent.

Since our society is “based on the idea that our legal system is neutral, fair, and that everyone is equal in law”, everyone should be treated equally and fairly. The country in which we were born, the language we speak, our skin colour, and our gender should not be related to court decisions. All these concepts are part of the “fair process”; skipping any of them leads to injustice for any person seeking their rights in the courtroom.

It should not be ignored that our legal system is based on the fact that everyone has the right to a fair trial. Public and political discourse on illegal activities is highly polarized. Defenders of due process are concerned about the possibility of almost innocent people being illegally convicted; on the other hand, those involved in the fight against crime worry about the need to ensure that all victims of Convicted criminals get what is “right” for them.

The criminal justice system must both convict and guarantee innocence. Although trials and criminal proceedings must be incorporated into judicial administration, the criminal justice system does not meet the expected standards. You support any litigation or criminal investigation in public/political speeches and constitute a crime as outlined in the next successful appeal.

Therefore, the criminal justice process operates on a completely different level from the actual process, representing an ideological struggle between criminal combatants. In the absence of a crystal ball or specific conviction of the perpetrator, the suspect and the accused must commit a crime. On the question of whether they are human, it seems inappropriate and consistent with the public’s understanding of criminal justice.

The criminal justice system is considered the forerunner of national criminal organizations, but the courts only consider some criminal acts. The criminal justice system plays an important role in the formulation of criminal responsibility and respect for the law.However, the success of any case depends on the fair and effective treatment of the accused.

To be fair, the criminal justice system’s success largely depends on the plans it proposes. In the first instance, wrongful convictions appeared to be “lawful” arrests. When evidence of a crime is unknowingly known to a broad audience, the public may have a wrong understanding of the nature of the crime.Therefore, illegal beliefs can ultimately shape the general perception of social evil.

Because our understanding of crime is socially structured, it is affected by many factors other than actual or factual events. The media may also be accused of distorting public perceptions of crime by exaggerating certain individuals, races, or genders as perpetrators or victims, highlighting the most sensational and covert forms of crime with newsworthiness. Ultimately, this action significantly impacts the public’s critical perception of guilt or innocence of a particular accused person. This shows that when investigations are not conducted properly, the accused person may be convicted unlawfully because the judicial system will often struggle to justify its actions.

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In conclusion, several factors play a role in the miscarriage of justice. Firstly, the police are always busy and often face pressure to apprehend and seize criminals as quickly as possible so that authorities can quickly determine their desire for clear solutions to ensure the safety and security of citizens. Secondly, the situation occurs after the extensive expenditure of money, time, and resources for the trials of specific suspects. In such a scenario, police find it difficult to admit that they are going in the wrong direction. Wrong decisions can lead investigators to go their way and ignore evidence pointing in a different direction than the crime committed. Due to the above factors, such assumptions may be based on the investigators’ expectations and biases, thereby posing a threat to the safety of innocent citizens and the effectiveness of law enforcement systems.


Kim Rossmo ‘Case rethinking: a protocol for reviewing criminal investigations,’ (2016) 17(3) Police Practice and Research 212-228

Dianne L. Martin “Lessons about justice from the laboratory of wrongful convictions: Tunnel vision, the construction of guilt and informer evidence.” UMKC L. Rev. 70 (2001): 847.

Evidence from Centre for Criminal Appeals (Appeal) and the Cardiff Law School innocence

project to the Justice Select Committee review of Disclosure of Evidence in CriminalCases(March2018)



Hannah Quirk, The significance of culture in criminal procedure reform: Why the revised disclosure scheme cannot work (2006) 10 Evidence & Proof 42 – 59

Michael Naughton, The Innocent and the Criminal Justice System: A Sociological Analysis of

Mike Redmayne, Criminal Justice Act 2003: (1) Disclosure and its discontents (2004)

Criminal Law Review Miscarriages of Justice (Palgrave 2013) pp.35-49; 72-77

The BBC Sounds Podcast Shreds, ‘The Police made me do it’ and Part 12

‘Shreds’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/search?q=Shreds%3A%20Murder%20in%20the%20dock&suggid=urn%3Abbc%3Aprogrammes%3Ap071cll5

Tom Smith, The “near miss” of Liam Allan critical problems in police disclosure, investigation culture and the resourcing of criminal justice’ (2018) Criminal Law Review 711

Frequently Asked Questions

To prepare an undergraduate reflective report:

  1. Describe the experience or task.
  2. Analyze thoughts and feelings.
  3. Evaluate learning outcomes.
  4. Connect with relevant theories.
  5. Outline personal growth.
  6. Conclude with insights gained.