Press release

Appointment of five Commissioners of the Criminal Cases Review Commission

Richard Foster CBE has been appointed as Chair of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and Alexandra Marks, Dr Sharon Persaud, David James Smith, Liz Calderbank and Andrew Rennison have been appointed as new Commissioners of the CCRC.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


We are pleased to announce that Richard Foster CBE has been appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to be Chair of the CCRC for a second term following an open competition. The appointment is subject clearance and is for five years from 1 November 2013 with a time commitment of 10 days per month. The annual remuneration is £104,800 which is payable pro-rata.

We are also pleased to announce that Alexandra Marks, Dr Sharon Persaud, David James Smith, Liz Calderbank and Andrew Rennison MS.c have been appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to be Commissioners of the CCRC.

Alexandra Marks, Dr Sharon Persaud, and David James Smith have been appointed for five years beginning 28 October 2013, and have a time commitment of two, four, and five days per week respectively. The five year appointment of Liz Calderbank begins 2 January 2014 with a time commitment of two days per week, and of Andrew Rennison MS.c on 3 March 2014 with a time commitment of three days per week. The annual remuneration for the appointments is £93,796 which is payable pro-rata.

The appointments processes have been conducted in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice on Ministerial public appointments to public bodies.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission was the first statutory body in the world created to investigate possible miscarriages of justice and, where appropriate, to refer cases back to the appeal courts. It remains one of only three such bodies in the world and covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The others are in Scotland and Norway.


Richard Foster CBE

Richard Foster CBE took over as Chair of the Commission in November 2008. He was Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service from 2001 to 2007 and is Chair of the Refugee Council. He was Director, Welfare to Work Delivery, responsible for New Deals from 1998 to 2001 and is a former Director of the Employment Service in the Department for Education and Employment. He was also First Secretary (Stockholm) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1981 to 1984 and was Principal Private Secretary to the Minister of State, Department of Employment. Mr Foster was educated at Devonport High School for Boys and at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Alexandra Marks

Alexandra Marks qualified as a solicitor in 1983. After 27 years at Linklaters, she retired as a partner in June 2011. She sits as a Recorder (Civil) and as a High Court Deputy (QBD and Administrative Court). In January 2012, she was appointed a Commissioner of the Judicial Appointments Commission. She is also Chair of the Architects Registration Board’s Professional Conduct Committee, Legal Assessor to the Conduct Committees of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chair of Prisoners Education Trust and a trustee of JUSTICE, and of Working Families.

Dr Sharon Persaud

Dr Sharon Persaud was a solicitor and partner at Bindman & Partners, practising exclusively in criminal defence. In 2010, she became a specialist appeals lawyer in the Criminal Appeal Office at the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division.) She was an independent peer reviewer for the Legal Services Commission and has lectured on criminal law, evidence and procedure. She has a doctorate in law and sociology.

David James Smith is an award winning journalist and author. He has written extensively about crime and criminal justice issues, conducting detailed investigations into some of the most high profile cases of recent years. He has written five non-fiction books including The Sleep of Reason - The James Bulger Case, and Supper with the Crippens about the Edwardian murderer Hawley Harvey Crippen. David’s longform journalism for The Sunday Times Magazine won him Broadsheet Feature Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2011 and again in 2012.

Liz Calderbank

Liz Calderbank joined the then Greater Manchester Probation Service in 1984 and worked in both an operational and managerial capacity before leaving as Assistant Chief Probation Officer to join HM Inspectorate of Probation in 1998. As an inspector, she led the inspection Towards Race Equality, examining institutional racism within the probation service. She subsequently was appointed as HM Assistant Chief Inspector and was responsible for setting up the first multi-inspectorate joint inspection programme examining the work of the youth offending teams. She has led the inspectorate in an interim capacity as Chief Inspector since August 2011. Whilst in the inspectorate, Liz has also undertaken several short placements in Jamaica, advising the Jamaican Government on the implementation of inspection arrangements, work with women who offend and the development of a youth justice strategy.

Andrew Rennison MS.c

Andrew Rennison MS.c was appointed by the Home Secretary in February 2008 as the first Forensic Science Regulator, to set and monitor the quality standards for forensic science in the criminal justice system. In December 2009 the role was extended when he was appointed to advise the government on the regulation of surveillance camera systems, leading to his appointment as the Surveillance Camera Commissioner in September 2012.

Prior to moving into regulation he completed a 30 year career with the police. He holds a Master of Science degree in psychology, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Bournemouth and was recently conferred the title of Visiting Professor at Northumbria University.

The appointments were made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any is declared) to be made public. Mr Smith has declared that he leafleted and canvassed door to door at recent general elections for the Labour Party. All the other appointees have declared that they have not been involved in any political activity.

Published 8 November 2013