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Terrorism: Compensation

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his policy is on the retrospective provision of financial support to British citizens who have been subject to terrorist acts overseas. (318203)

The Government have tabled amendments to the Crime and Security Bill to establish a Victims of Overseas Terrorism Compensation scheme. This will be a forward looking scheme. In accordance with the long standing general principle that the Government and Parliament do not legislate retrospectively, the new scheme will only apply to designated terrorist attacks that take place on or after 18 January 2010 (that is, the date on which the scheme was announced). However, we appreciate that there will be victims of overseas terrorist attacks in recent years who continue to face hardship as a result of the on-going consequences of a disability arising from injuries sustained in such an attack. In recognition of this, the Government have announced plans to provide financial assistance to eligible victims of overseas terrorist attacks since 1 January 2002 who are in such a position. Although separate from the Victims of Overseas Terrorism Compensation scheme, the introduction of these non-statutory arrangements is subject to the passage of the provisions in the Crime and Security Bill.

Further details will be announced shortly.