Research and Library Services
Northern Ireland Assembly
Research Paper 21/01
9 October 2001
DRAFT CRIMINAL INJURIES
IRELAND) ORDER 2001
This paper examines NIO proposals for new legislation dealing with
criminal injuries compensation, and the background to the making
of those proposals.
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Members of The Assembly and their personal staff. Authors are available to
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advise members of the general public.
Northern Ireland Assembly, Research and Library Service
SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS
The Belfast Agreement recognised the importance of victims’ suffering and declared
that an acknowledgement of that suffering was an essential part of reconciliation in
Northern Ireland. Victims can be amongst the most socially excluded of citizens.
‘Criminal injuries compensation’ is currently payable by the NIO where a person has
been injured or killed in Northern Ireland as a direct result of violent crime or attempts
to prevent crime.
In June 1999, the Review of Criminal Injuries Compensation in Northern Ireland,
established by the NIO, reported on the fitness for purpose of criminal injuries
compensation law, ‘in the light of the experiences of victims of terrorist violence’.
The Review made 64 specific recommendations.
The NIO accepted most of the recommendations, and has now published its
proposals for changes to the law. The proposals are in the form of a draft Order in
Council providing a basic framework, and a draft Scheme providing greater detail.
The NIO intends to implement the draft Order and Scheme by 1 April 2002.
The main proposed changes include:
• a ‘tariff’ for all claims, setting out the compensation attached to specific
• a removal of the right to appeal to the courts, and the establishment of an
independent Criminal Injurie