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OU on the BBC: Justice: Timeshift - Retrial By Television

Updated Sunday 3rd April 2011

Stepping in when justice goes wrong: BBC Four pays tribute to the campaigning team at Rough Justice.

Rough Justice title card Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

It is almost exactly 30 years since the BBC's Rough Justice team began investigating miscarriages of justice. The programme can claim to have achieved the overturning of the convictions of 18 people in 13 separate cases, continuing sporadically for over 25 years until it was finally axed in November 2007.

Timeshift looks at the creation of this extraordinary series and reveals what a shock to the system it was. Featuring contributions from many of those involved, it asks how it was that a television programme took it upon itself to question one of the oldest judicial systems in the world.

This documentary is also an opportunity to look at how much television and journalism have changed since Rough Justice was first commissioned. The programme's makers were hired with an open-ended brief that would be almost impossible to repeat today. It may only be thirty years ago, but this is a glimpse into a bygone era.

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