Law School students win Pro Bono Award
Press release issued: 15 May 2008
A team of seven undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School of Law who form part of the University of Bristol Innocence Project have received an award from the Attorney General at the House of Lords.
The Attorney General’s Pro Bono Awards are organised by LawWorks, the operating name of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG), to celebrate the best legal pro bono activities undertaken by students and law schools, and the positive impact that this work has had on those helped.
Amanda Bell, Lindsey Bell, Steve Cheng, Katevan Nakaidze, Madeline Williams, Gabe Tan and Jess Wood, received a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the category 'Best Contribution by a Team of Students’ in the Attorney General’s Student and Law School Pro Bono Awards 2008.
The award recognises the work of the University of Bristol Innocence Project, set up by Dr Michael Naughton in January 2005, the first such project within the UK, whose pro bono efforts helped inspire a BBC drama series. Supervised students investigate individual cases in pursuit of grounds for a prisoner’s application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body set up in the wake of the cases of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six, to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice and refer cases thought to have a ‘real possibility’ back to the appeal courts.
The students have excelled in promoting the idea of innocence project work as a viable, cost-effective way of embarking on pro bono work in this niche area. A network of 400 students, academics and practising lawyers now exists nationally under the umbrella of the Innocence Network UK (INUK). They have welcomed students from other universities to participate in casework; shared skills when replying to prisoners’ letters; run various training sessions to students nationally; and worked with the BBC to make a ‘Rough Justice’ documentary.
The event took place on 24 April.