Manchester Innocence Project

The Manchester Innocence Project is a pro-bono organisation based in the Justice Hub at The University of Manchester.

Due to the nature of the work of the Manchester Innocence Project, the content of the website might be distressing to some readers.

The Project was established in 2020 when our ‘Miscarriage of Justice Review Centre’ was accepted into the US-based Innocence Network. The Project is one of only 13 non-US based members of the Network, and one of only two projects in England and Wales.

It is a staff-student collaboration aimed at helping the wrongfully convicted and promoting positive change in the justice system. Students have the opportunity to gain a practical insight into the legal system and the unique issues affecting those who suffer a miscarriage of justice.

Our students will support a client through every stage of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) application process. Under the supervision of both academic and legal professional staff, students practice advocacy, critical thinking and research skills to effect real change.

Gaining hands-on experience, students engage with clients, witnesses, lawyers, and experts to provide an application to the CCRC, with the goal of proving that a miscarriage of justice has occurred.

As a member of the wider Innocence Project organisation, students with the Manchester Innocence Project are part of a global organisation seeking to promote justice across the world.


Fundraising for the Manchester Innocence Project

We are raising funds for the Innocence Project at the University of Manchester because they help innocent people get access to justice.


"You might go to prison, even though you're innocent"

Watch Attorney and Professor of Law Justin Brooks give a talk and review of his book about the harsh reality of wrongful convictions.


The Great Post Office Scandal: What Went Wrong and Why It Matters

Watch our launch event with Nick Wallis on the Post Office Horizon IT Scandal, one of the most significant miscarriages of justice in the UK.

Our People
Academic Directors

Claire McGourlay

Claire McGourlay

Claire McGourlay

"The Manchester Innocence Project is only one of two projects in the UK affiliated with the USA Innocence Project network and provides students with first and experience that is challenging and rewarding. I love working with Undergraduate and Postgraduate students on the IP and also helping our clients”.

Fintan Walker

Fintan Walker

Fintan Walker

"The Innocence Project provides students with a practical outlet for their study of criminal law, criminal evidence and miscarriages of justice. Students get a unique insight into the inner workings of the criminal appeals process and the opportunity to develop skills needed to practice law. For my part, I love seeing students fully invested in the review of cases and the search for fresh evidence."

Case Managers

Suzanne Gower

Suzanne Gower - Lecturer, Seminar Tutor, PhD candidate and Criminal Defence Solicitor

Suzanna Gower

Twitter - @scouselawyer

E-mail -

Suzanne is an experienced criminal defence lawyer who specialises in miscarriages of justice. She is a Solicitor Advocate (non-practicing) who worked for many years as a duty solicitor in general crime as well as prosecuting and defending regulatory crime and inquests.

She was the Senior Case Officer on the legal team who represented 22 of the families of the Hillsborough disaster in the 2014-16 inquests which were the longest proceedings heard by a jury in British legal history. Suzanne has also worked in the Oklahoma City Public Defenders Office and The Center for Equal Justice in New Orleans on death row cases.

Suzanne was the Managing Director of the legal charity APPEAL from 2016-19. APPEAL is a charity law practice which is dedicated to fighting miscarriages of justice and demanding reform.

Suzanne is currently researching a PhD in wrongful convictions for historic sexual offences at the University of Manchester where she is teaching Miscarriages of Justice and Criminal Evidence and volunteers as a supervisor at the Manchester Innocence Project.

Nicola Campbell

Nicola Campbell - PhD candidate

Nicola Campbell

E-mail -

Nicola has a Law degree (Claire McGourlay taught her many years ago!) and a Masters in International Criminal Law. Nicola has worked on Innocence Projects, has won awards for her writing on Joint Enterprise, and until recently was working for the Crown Prosecution Service. Nicola is now doing a PhD researching the Criminal Cases Review Commissions statements of reasons.

Siobhan Smith

Clinical Lead

Siobhan Smith, Lecturer in Law

Siobhan Smith

Siobhan has a law degree, a Masters in International Human Rights Law and Terrorism, and a PhD that examines the protection of the right to education during situations of armed conflict within public international law. She has also completed the Bar Professional Training Course, and has spent time shadowing criminal law barristers and judges in and out of court. Siobhan is currently working as a Lecturer in Law at the University of Manchester, and she has taught Criminal Law at multiple institutions.


Listen to the Director of the Manchester Innocence Project, Claire McGourlay, discussing our collaborations with supporters from the London Innocence Project and Cardiff University Innocence project on an 'Innocent talk' podcast episode.

News and events

Contact us

Find us at

The Justice Hub, Law School, 
The University of Manchester
188 Waterloo Place
Oxford Road 
M13 9PL

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 7976

Follow us on Twitter: @InnocenceMCR

To find out more about how you can get involved, or become a supporter of the Manchester Innocence Project, please contact

Students at the University may apply to join the project every year.