A judicial review overturned the ruling of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) that the case, brought by ten members of the Shrewsbury 24, should not be referred to the Court of Appeal.
The case will now go back to the CCRC to reconsider its position.
The trade unionists claim they were wrongly jailed after an arcane law – the Conspiracy Act of 1975 – was used to convict them.
The discovery of new evidence, including that original witness statements had been destroyed and hidden from the defence team, prompted the team to appeal for justice.
“This is a magnificent success,” said Eileen Turnbull, Secretary for the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign. “We are one step nearer to achieving our goal of justice for the pickets. The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign has worked tirelessly over the past 13 years. Today’s result is a testament to all our hard work and the support from the labour movement.”
“The decision of the CCRC to withdraw their refusals to refer the convictions of the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign is welcome,” said Jamie Potter, a human rights partner at Bindmans LLP acting for the claimants. “As Lord Justice Flaux acknowledged during today’s hearing, there can be no question that evidence of witness statement destruction would, in 2019, have to be disclosed to the prosecution. It is essential that historic unjust convictions arising from such fundamental unfairness are now corrected and we hope that the CCRC will refer this matter to the Court of Appeal so these convictions can properly be considered.”