• Robert Spicer

CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION: SUPREME COURT DECISION

Exclusion of modern slavery and trafficking where victims previously imprisoned Case R (A and another) v Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and another [2021] Supreme Court, The Times, July 19 Facts Two Lithuanian brothers who had been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment in Lithuania, were trafficked to the UK and subjected to labour exploitation and abuse. They were victims of trafficking and modern slavery. They applied for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) but were refused because the Scheme excludes person with unspent convictions who had received a custodial sentence. Their application for judicial review of this decision was rejected. This was upheld by the Court of Appeal and they appealed to the Supreme Court, that the exclusion was in breach of Article 14 of the ECHR (prohibition of discrimination). Decision 1. The appeal was dismissed. 2. The exclusion did not give rise to unjustified discrimination. 3. The object of the Scheme was the allocation of limited resources to deserving victims of crime as an expression of public sympathy. The legislator had been entitled to adopt a scheme which operated by clearly defined rules. 4. It had been appropriate to lay down rules as to the seriousness of offences which would disqualify possible claimants as opposed to allowing a general discretion to be applied in individual cases. This had the advantages of clarity and consistency.


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