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Victims' rights - by country

England och Wales

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England och Wales

What is the process for claiming damages from the offender? (e.g. court case, civil claim, adhesion procedure)

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government funded scheme designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), administers the Scheme and decide all claims. Not all claims for compensation will be successful; you must be eligible under the rules of the Scheme.

Guidance on the Scheme is available here

You can start an application here

Court-ordered compensation

A magistrates' court can make a compensation order up to a maximum of £5,000 per charge. The Crown Court has unlimited powers, but should have regard to the means of the offender.

Compensation orders shall be for such amount as the court considers appropriate, taking into account any evidence and representations by the prosecution and defence.

Courts attach considerable importance to the making of compensation orders and must give reasons where they do not make an order.

More information on Crown Court compensation orders is available here:

Civil Claim

Whether to make a civil claim is a matter for you, the victim. It may, however, affect other claims for compensation. You may wish to seek legal advice.

Information about how to make a claim is available here

The court ordered the offender to pay me damages/compensation. How do I make sure the offender pays?

Enforcement of compensation orders is a matter for the courts.

If the offender does not pay, can the state pay me an advance? Under what conditions?

No - there is no up-front payment of court ordered compensation in England and Wales.

Am I entitled to compensation from the state?

You may be eligible under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, more information is available here:

Am I entitled to compensation if the offender is not convicted?

Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme you may still be eligible for an award even if your assailant is not known, or is not convicted. More information is available here

Am I entitled to an emergency payment while I wait for the decision on my compensation claim?

Where CICA have decided that you are eligible for a payment but cannot make a final decision then, they may consider making an interim payment. If they are unable to make a final decision this is likely to be because they are waiting until the long term impact of your injury is understood.

More information is available here

Last update: 21/09/2017

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