Improving Wrongful Conviction Review: Lessons from a Comparative Analysis of Continental Criminal Procedure


  • Paul J Saguil Osgood Hall Law School



The study of wrongfuil conviction has yielded much evidence outlining that factors such as mistaken identification, false confessions, unsavoury informants, and misconduct on the part of the prosecution, defence, and police, inter alia, are causes of wrongfuil conviction common to most, if not all, criminal justice systems. Despite the resurgence of scholarly and popular interest in the phenomenon of wrongful conviction, there are a number of gaps in our knowledge and there is little scholarship available that addresses the subject of this article.

In this article, the author addresses the question posed by Professor and Dean of Social Ecology (University of California — Irvine) C. Ronald Huff: "Are some criminal justice systems more likely to produce wrongful convictions than others?" The author undertakes a comparative study of criminal procedure in France and Germany in order to critique and appraise the Canadian approach to wrongful conviction review. He argues that incorporating specific elements of Continental practice into our domestic procedures would substantially increase and improve the opportunities for correcting miscarriages of justice in Canada.