Unlock has noted the opening of a consultation concerning the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS). This ‘additional consultation’ is focussed on potential changes to the scheme regarding the scope what the scheme defines as child sexual abuse and the time limit that is placed upon individuals seeking compensation.
This consultation is the third such process in the last three years, with the first taking place in 2020 looking at general issues with the scheme. A ‘supplementary consultation’ in 2022 specifically focussed on whether the scheme should remove its exclusionary rule, whereby those with unspent convictions are unable to access compensation they would otherwise be eligible for if they are the victim of a crime.
The exclusionary rule, introduced in 2012, undermines the principle of rehabilitation and creates a hierarchy of victims, regardless of any link between an individual’s conviction and their experience as a victim. Further information about this can be found in our briefing. Unlock provided a response to this consultation last year, but the government has yet to respond to that consultation despite it having closed in August 2022.
This new consultation runs until September 2023 and states that a response outlining any planned changes to the CICS will then be provided. This response will consider this new consultation, as well as those from 2020 and 2022. This will mean that it will have been well over a year by the time there is a government response to the consultation on the exclusionary rule. In the meantime, those with unspent convictions remain discriminated against by the CICS with no sense of whether, or when, this will change. There should be no further delay in addressing this issue.
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