Justice team to be named

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The long-awaited Criminal Cases Review Commission will finally begin its work on 1 January, a full three years after its recommendation by the 1993 Royal Commission on Criminal Justice.

The members of the commission, which takes over scrutiny of alleged miscarriages of justice from the discredited C3 section at the Home Office, will be disclosed tomorrow in a written Commons answer. But the list - the chairman, Sir Frederick Crawford, was named in the summer - could be as noteworthy for who is not on it asfor those who are.

One third of the commissioners must be lawyers and two-thirds must have knowledge and experience of the criminal justice system.

Several candidates with knowledge of miscarriages of justice failed to make any headway. They include all three members of the independent Just Television company - David Jessel, Steve Hayward and Steve Phelps - who have campaigned for people who had been wrongly convicted.

Chris Price, the formerLabour MP and director of the former Leeds Polytechnic, failed to get an interview after applying to be chairman, even though he had experience of running a big-budget organisation and had campaigned for the Confait brothers, whose convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Martin Short, the author of a book on Freemasonry, was rejected as a potential member. Sir Frederick, a leading Freemason and former scientist, company director and vice-chancellor of Aston University, was picked from 124 candidates. The Home Office had failed to check whether he was a Freemason and the question was added as an afterthought to the application forms.

Sir Frederick will be questioned on Freemasonry by the Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs in the new year.