Govt to appeal CICS ruling

THE Government is to petition the House of Lords against the Court of Appeal's decision that the Home Secretary acted unlawfully by introducing a tariff-based compensation scheme for criminal injuries.

But Ian Walker, partner at criminal injuries compensation firm Russell Jones & Walker, says: ” Michael Howard should scrap his appeal to the House of Lords.

“If he is concerned about increased amounts of compensation paid out by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, he should concentrate on reducing the appalling level of crime.”

The Court of Appeal verdict on a judicial review brought by 10 trades unions and the Trades Union Congress has been widely welcomed. Law Society President Charles Elly says: “The Government should now abandon the tariff scheme, which would cut financial help for the most seriously injured victims of crime.”

The original non-statutory scheme operated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board awarded ex-gratia payments linked to the level of common law damages paid by the courts.

Howard's revised version, introduced in April, replaced earnings-related compensation with 20 payment bands covering more than 200 injuries, with a ceiling of u250,000.