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Channel Tunnel

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the criminal injuries compensation scheme will apply to the channel tunnel.

The British part of the channel tunnel—that is to say, the land comprising the tunnel system as far as the frontier at the mid-point of the tunnel—is part of Great Britain by virtue of section 10 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987. Subject to certain exceptions explained in this answer, blameless victims of crimes of violence in that part of the tunnel system will accordingly be eligible to apply for compensation under the criminal injuries compensaton scheme in the normal way.However, article 30(1) of schedule 2 to the Channel Tunnel (International Arrangements) Order 1993 provides that claims for compensation for injury caused by or to officers of the adjoining state in the exercise of their functions in the host state shall be subject to the law and jurisdiction of the adjoining state as if the circumstances giving rise to the claim had occurred in that state. This means that the scheme will cover injuries caused by or to United Kingdom officers anywhere in the tunnel system or control zones, but not injuries caused by or to foreign officers. Claims for injury caused to or by foreign officers must accordingly be made against the officer's country.In order to ensure that the scheme reflects these provisions I am amending it by the insertion of new paragraphs 4A and 28A, which read as follows:

"4A. The Board will entertain applications under paragraph 4 arising from injury or death caused by or to officers of the United Kingdom—but not of any other state—in the exercise of their functions in the Channel Tunnel or control zones, within the meaning of the Channel Tunnel (International Arrangements) Order 1993."
"28A. Paragraph 4A will take effect from the date the Channel Tunnel (International Arrangements) Order 1993 comes into force."

The order is expected to come into force on 2 August 1993.