Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Criminal Justice Clinic

The Criminal Justice Clinic was launched at ICJS in 2015. The Clinic expands on clinical legal education and offers experiential learning and practical work suitable for students in criminal justice, criminology, forensics and law. An important aspect of the Clinic is to encourage students to think critically about the operation of the criminal justice system and to reflect on opportunities for reform. To achieve this, the Clinic serves as a mini think tank where research into current law and policy within the criminal justice system is undertaken and proposals for reform of specific areas are produced and presented. The Clinic is also actively involved in criminal appeal work, where students can work on real cases under close supervision of staff and solicitors.

The aims of the Criminal Justice Clinic are to:

  • Provide exciting opportunities for students to be involved in experiential learning, real world research, case work and proposals for reform of the criminal justice system;
  • Help prisoners with their applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC);
  • Carry out investigations into claims of factual innocence;
  • Conduct research on criminal justice issues, at home and abroad, and contribute to proposals for reform, engage in scholarly publications, report writing, Amicus briefs and other suitable outlets.


The Clinic’s work has featured in news and media outlets:

Bowcott, O. (2017). Destruction of court records ‘hampers miscarriage of justice inquiries’. The Guardian, 31 January 2017. 

Henneberg, M.L. (2017). Lost in the system: The case of Omar Benguit. The Justice Gap, 16 January 2017.

Alexander, M. (2016). Innocence Projects – Green Shoots. Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, 10 June 2016.

Fishwick, B. (2016). Portsmouth ‘Making a Murderer’ innocence project working to clear killer Omar Benguit’s name. The News (Portsmouth), 18 February 2016.

Henneberg, M.L. (2016). Circumstantial evidence: Making a murderer English style. The Justice Gap, 17 February 2016.

Burrell, I. (2016). Making a Murderer. Inside Time, February Issue 2016.

Robins, J. (2016). ‘We deserve a justice system that is open and transparent’. The Justice Gap, 15 January 2016.

Smith, O. (2016). Streaming media & murder are a match in heaven. The Memo, 6 January 2016.

Burrell, I. (2016). Making a Murderer: Netflix documentary on Steven Avery ‘could not be made in UK due to lack of open justice’. The Independent, 4 January 2016.

Henneberg, M.L. (2016). ’Making a Murderer’ and the limits of open justice. The Justice Gap, 4 January 2016.

Henneberg, M.L. (2015). Omar Benguit: ’I would rather die than admit to something I haven’t done’. The Justice Gap, 19 November 2015. 


The day to day activities of the Clinic are overseen by the Clinic Leader who alongside the Deputy Leader also provide supervision in relation to all case work that students undertake on client cases.

Ms Marika Henneberg (Leader of the Clinic)

Marika is a Senior Lecturer. Her research interests include ‘junk science’ and the use and abuse of science in criminal investigations and at trials, miscarriages of justice, post-conviction rules and appeal processes, comparative criminal law and clinical legal education. She has been involved in miscarriages of justice work since 2007, in the UK, US and Sweden. As the Leader of the Clinic Marika oversees all activities and supervises all the case work that the students carry out on client cases.

Dr Craig Collie (Deputy Leader of the Clinic)

Craig is a Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth. He obtained a law degree from Edinburgh University in 2010, before branching into forensic psychology and criminology for his MSc and PhD. Craig’s main legal interests centre around courtroom argumentation, the weighing of evidence, and fairness in the criminal law. Craig works alongside Marika to provide leadership and supervision for the students involved in case work. 

Select Publications

  • Cooper, S.L. and Henneberg, M.L. (Guest Editors) (2015). Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Evidence: Current Controversies. British Journal of American Legal Studies,  4(2), Special Issue, Fall 2015.
  • Ellis, T., Lewis, C., Hamai K. and Williamson T. (2008) Japanese community policing under the microscopeIn: Williamson T., eds. The handbook of knowledge based policing: current conceptions and future directions: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
  • Ellis, T. and Savage, S. (eds) (2012) Debates in criminal justice: key themes and issues. London:
  • Hamai, K. and Ellis, T. (2008) Japanese criminal justice: Was reintegrative shaming a chimera? Punishment Society 10: 25 DOI: 10.1177/1462474507084196.
  • Hamai, K. and Ellis, T. (2008) Genbatsuka: growing penal populism and the changing role of public prosecutors in Japan.Japanese Journal of Sociological Criminology (33). pp. 67-91.
  • Henneberg, ML. (2017). Worlds apart: Cold case reviews and investigations into alleged wrongful convictions in England and Wales. Journal of Cold Case Review, 3(1), 24-37.
  • Henneberg, M.L. (2015). Admissibility Frameworks and Scientific Evidence: Controversies in Relation to Shaken Baby Syndrome / Abusive Head Trauma. In British Journal of American Legal Studies,  4(2), pp. 555-584.
  • Henneberg, M.L. and Loveday, B.W. (2015). ‘Off Track’ Police Investigations, Case Construction and Flawed Forensic Practices: An Analysis of Three Fatal Stabbings in Sweden, California and England. In British Journal of American Legal Studies,  4(2), pp. 499-526.
  • Henneberg, M.L. and Morling, N.R. (2017/18). Unconfirmed accelerants: Controversial evidence in fire investigations. In International Journal of Evidence and Proof, forthcoming 2017/18.


Ivor Ash (BSc Sociology and Criminology): Appropriate Adult, TAAS, Hampshire

Ivor Ash

I started the Criminal Justice Clinic as a case worker during the second year of my BSc (Hons) Sociology and Criminology degree. I then progressed to case manager during my final year. The two years I spent undertaking both roles at the criminal justice clinic complimented my academic studies tremendously. The skills I have learnt from being a case worker and case manager include research skills, interviewing, arranging and  attending a legal visit in a prison setting to interview a client, being part of the recruitment process for potential new case workers, critically analysing evidence and creating tasks for case workers.

It is a massive responsibility to work on a client’s application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The clients have exhausted all other appeals avenues sometimes at the financial cost of their family members. However the rewards for taking on this responsibility have had a positive effect on both my studies and career. I am now an Appropriate Adult, safeguarding the rights of juveniles and adults with mental health issues who have been arrested. It is the experience of volunteering at the Criminal Justice Clinic that has given me the confidence to work within the criminal justice system in this role. The experience also made my application stand out and contributed to me getting a paid position relevant to my degree. Working at the clinic clarified where I wanted to head both in my career and my studies and I will be returning to the University of Portsmouth to undertake a Masters in Law. 

Sally Phillips (BSc Criminology and Forensic Studies), PhD student at Birmingham City University

Sally Phillips

I started working with the Innocence Project (now part of the Criminal Justice Clinic) in my second year as a case worker and was lucky enough to take on the role of case manager in my third year. It gave me a chance to practically apply the knowledge gathered from my Criminology and Forensic Studies degree. The project really gave me freedom to become involved with the case as much as I wanted and it felt great to know that my work was having a real impact on some people in incredibly difficult situations. I wrote to the client regularly and stayed in touch with family on the phone. In my third year, I was even able to meet these people in person. It did feel to me like the most interesting and worthwhile part of my degree, not only for the skills that I developed, but for the impact our work had on others. 

I am now doing a PhD in law at Birmingham City University. I would not have been able to do this without working with the Innocence Project. IP opened so many doors through meeting different people, providing challenging opportunities, and ended up pointing me in the direction of my current PhD. It was, by far, the university hours I looked forward to most and the organisational, interviewing and researching skills have been invaluable in my career since.