We previously provided an overview of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA); a government body set up to deal with claims from people who have been mentally or physically injured because they were the blameless victim of a violent crime.
The criteria that an individual requires to meet in order to be successful in their application to CICA are set down in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.
Under the 2012 scheme, victims who lived in the same home as their attacker before 1979 are not entitled to an award. The reason for this rule is to stop the attackers from benefitting from any compensation from the victims that they lived with. As a result, many survivors of childhood abuse have had their application refused due to the fact that they lived with their abuser at the time. CICA has advised that since 2015, 180 applications have been refused on this basis.
There have been legal challenges to this rule in both England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Court of Appeal in England and Wales has now confirmed that this rule is incompatible with human rights law.
The case was brought in England by a woman known as “JT”. She was abused by her stepfather between the ages of four and seventeen. He was convicted of eight offences in 2012. Her application to the CICA was refused due to the fact that 1) the abuse took place before 1979 and 2) she was living under the same roof as her stepfather at the time.
In the judgement, Lord Justice Leggatt commented that the “same roof” rule was “all the more unfair” due to the fact that JT was a child when the abuse took place. She had no control over where and whom she lived with.
The “same roof” rule has also been criticised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. They have recommended that the rule is removed from the CICA compensation scheme.
The ruling by the Court of Appeal in the case of JT is an important move forwards for applicants in who would previously have been unable to make an application due to the “same roof” rule. Due to the increasing pressure it is hoped that the CICA will make the decision to remove this rule from their criteria. Jackson Boyd are monitoring the situation and will keep you advised of any developments.
At Jackson Boyd we have experience in dealing with applications to the CICA. We understand that individuals who are eligible to make an application have been through a highly traumatic time in their life, often with long term effects. We will ensure that your case is dealt with appropriately and with the utmost sensitivity.
To discuss your CICA application contact us today online by clicking here or call 0330 029 1952 to speak to a member of our specialist team.