The Innocence Project at the Peter A. Allard School of Law provides post-conviction review of criminal cases in response to claims of a wrongful conviction. The Innocence Project at UBC engages the talents and enthusiasm of law students, working under the supervision of the Project's Director and volunteer lawyers, to locally review claims of wrongful conviction in British Columbia. Ultimately, it seeks to expose, document, and prevent wrongful convictions.
The UBC Innocence Project works to identify potential miscarriages of justice and assists in securing the release of individuals who have been wrongly convicted, while educating law students about the causes of wrongful conviction and the proper roles of professionals in the criminal justice system. A case undertaken by the Project is fully reviewed, from investigation to final appeal. If the Project believes the case merits consideration by the Minister of Justice following its review, students assist outside counsel in preparing the application.
The idea of opening an Innocence Project at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC was first discussed by students, professors, and practicing lawyers in the summer of 2005. Through their dedicated work to research and prepare this initiative, a proposal for the Innocence Project was presented to Curriculum Committee of the Faculty, which approved the project. With this approval, the Project accepted its first students in September 2007 and began investigating claims of wrongful conviction.
Tamara Levy, Founding Director of the UBC Innocence Project, introduces the Innocence Project: