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Compensation for Crime Victims - Northern Ireland Perspective

NCJ Number
Victimology Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Dated: (1980) Pages: 51-56
R G Smartt
Date Published
6 pages
This article examines the procedures in Northern Ireland to provide compensation from central government funds both for the victims of crime who sustained personal injuries and for property owners suffering malicious damage.
The article describes the historical roots of these arrangements. The process of compensation is outlined beginning with the victim's application to the Secretary of State; the request from the Criminal Injuries Branch for further evidence, if necessary, and for a police report; payment by the Branch; and the provision for an appeal by the applicant for court determination if the payment is not accepted. The article also presents reasons for the claimants' right to continue to have reviews made in the ordinary courts. These include the fact that the basis of claim assessment is the common law assessment of damages for personal injuries and the effects of special claims arising out of political terrorism, sectarianism, or internecine feuds. Disadvantages to this procedure include lengthy cases and legal costs, although the applicant receives some protection. The alternative of providing only internal safeguards is assessed as a less costly procedure but is viewed as a desirable compromise.


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