Compensation for Wrongful Conviction

  • Doug Graham

The Minister of Justice, Rt Hon D.A.M. Graham, said today the Law Commission's report Compensating the Wrongly Convicted is timely.

'This is a matter which has come into prominence in the last few months and the Commission has given it very thorough consideration,' he said.

The Commission has recommended that a person sentenced to imprisonment and subsequently released on his or her conviction being quashed on appeal either in the Court of Appeal or in the High Court, without an order for retrial, or who has been pardoned may apply for compensation. If the applicant can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he or she is in fact innocent then payment of compensation can be recommended to Government. The compensation shall be independently assessed.

The Commission has recommended that the Government adopt this as policy for a trial period of three years.

Mr Graham said he intends to seek Cabinet approval shortly to a policy position on compensation or ex gratia payments for wrongful conviction.

'Until the Government has made such a decision, it would be inappropriate to speculate on what that position might be,' he said.