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Miscarriages of Justice

Volume 447: debated on Friday 16 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many outstanding applications for compensation are being considered by the Independent Assessor to the Home Secretary on Miscarriages of Justice, broken down by the number of years the case has been under consideration. (76921)

There are currently 27 cases with the Independent Assessor for final assessment of compensation. Of those, two were submitted to him more than two years ago, two others more than one year ago. Those four applications form part of a large number of applications that arose from a series of quashed convictions relating to a wide-ranging fraud case. There are complex and overlapping issues affecting the whole group. All the applicants involved, including those who made final submissions, have been asked for further information in relation to their application. In a number of cases replies have not been received. The remainder were submitted to him within the last 12 months. Of those, 12 were submitted within the last three months, three between three and six months ago, seven between six and nine months, and one, also arising from the complex fraud case referred to, between nine and 12 months.

The four cases referred to the Assessor more than one year ago have all had interim payments awarded by him, and of the remaining 23 which were referred within the last year, 20 have had interim payments.

A further 109 cases have had eligibility confirmed by the Home Secretary. In these cases final submissions have not been made by the applicants and information regarding the level of compensation being claimed is awaited from the applicants or their representatives, before final assessments can be considered by the Assessor.