The Innocence Project London (IPL) was set up in May 2010. The IPL aims to undertake thorough and objective investigations into alleged wrongful convictions of individuals who maintain their innocence and have exhausted the criminal appeals process. In January 2016, after a rigorous application process we became part of the Innocence Network, which is based in the United State of America. It is the only member project in the UK at present and is based in the School of Law at the University of Greenwich.
This work is carried out by LLB law students and criminology students, who are given the opportunity to transfer skills learned in the classroom and apply them to real legal cases. The transferable skills enhance student’s employability, which is one of the University of Greenwich’s Key Performance Indicators. The project also aims to raise awareness of miscarriages of justice not only in the university but in the wider community.
The students work in small groups, under the supervision of one of the project director’s. Each team is supported by a solicitor or barrister who work pro-bono alongside the students. The IPL works with law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP who help to assess the applications which are made to the project. Students at the University of Greenwich can apply to be selected to volunteer to work on the IPL from the 2nd year of their law degree or 2nd year of their criminology degree.
IPL students develop skills in legal research, critical thinking, legal writing, client interviewing, and legal reasoning and much more, in addition to presenting to their peers about the work they are doing, they put together bundles for the solicitor or barrister who is working with them, and they produce written pieces of work to a high standard.