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The High Court has ordered the Ministry of Justice to conduct another public consultation on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA) . This judgment could have significant repercussions on the government decision making process.
In a recent case challenging the decision of a denied CICA claim, Mrs. Justice Lang DBE ruled that the justice secretary acted in breach of the claimant’s legitimate expectation that he would carry out a lawful consultation on potential changes to the CICA. This included the revision of an exclusionary rule put forward by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
The challenge was brought forward by a victim of child sexual abuse. Her application in 2017 for compensation through the CICA was denied due to an unspent conviction. In 2018 the government released a Victim Strategy stating that, in order to improve access to compensation, it would abolish the rule which denied compensation for victims who lived with their attacker prior to 1979 and ‘consult on further changes to the scheme’. This included considering the Inquiries recommendations. However, the government have decided, after consideration, to not commit to altering the exclusionary rule.
Mrs. Justice Lang stated that Claimants ‘would reasonably have understood the word “consultation” to mean that they would be given an opportunity to express their views on the inquiry’s recommendation, and that the Defendant would take their views into account before making his final decision as to whether the rule should be revised.’
Following the outcome of this case, it will be interesting to see whether the judgment has an impact on the current CICA process. We are keen to see alterations to the exclusionary rule to allow fair access to compensation for victims of abuse. Whilst no amount of money can truly be representative of the tragic abuse the victims have suffered, the CICA scheme was created to offer those who have suffered abuse access to compensation. All victims deserve the right to make the application, including those with unspent convictions.
At Ramsdens Solicitors, our expert Abuse team can make a claim to the CICA on your behalf. We will support and guide you through the process, at a pace that suits you. We have expert knowledge of the claims process including limitation issues. If a crime of violence has affected you or someone close to you we are here for a confidential discussion. To learn more about how we can help you, speak to Ramsdens Solicitors today by calling 01484 821 500 or email us at email@example.com to request a call back at your convenience.