During a Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) application the claimant will be given written notification detailing all important decisions in addition to information regarding eligibility for internal review by a more senior case officer and appeals to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP). A CICA appeal solicitor can request review or appeal of decisions taken by the CICA at every stage of the application process.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government funded body which exists to compensate the victims of violent crime for their pain and suffering or psychological trauma and for certain limited expenses or losses. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority offices are based in London and Glasgow and employ over 550 people whose task it is to assess claims and thereafter offer compensation to members of the public who have suffered from a violent assault or in certain restricted cases those who have been psychologically affected by physical injury to others. Interim decisions, if unacceptable to a claimant, can be reconsidered by a more senior person within the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and a final decision can be the subject of a full CICA appeal to an independent Appeals Panel with matters relating to mal-administration by the Appeals Panel being considered by The Parliamentary Ombudsman. A number of factors are taken into account when deciding a claim. The claim is valued on a Tariff Scheme with 25 tariff bands ranging from £1,000 to £250,000 for serious injuries. The CICA will consider the three most serious injuries and discount the second and third injuries value within the relevant tariff band before making a final cumulative offer. Claims are most often rejected because of the claimant's failure to assist the police in the investigation and prosecution of the case, the value of the claim or the claimant's previous record of 'unspent' convictions especially for offences of violence. For a claim to succeed it must have resulted in pain and suffering that lasted for at least 6 weeks necessitating at least two visits to a medical practitioner. Upon receipt of a claim form the Criminal Compensation Board will contact the Police and the medical authorities to obtain reports and information and will ask the applicant or their solicitor for further information in due course. A decision will thereafter be made and notified to the claimant or their solicitor in writing together with information on CICA appeals and the relevant CICA appeal forms.
Claims for compensation for violent crime can be made directly to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and no fee is usually payable. You do not have to instruct a solicitor to represent you and if there are no complicated issues it may be to your advantage to claim directly.
An applicant in a criminal injury compensation claim may ask for review, by a senior officer, if a claims officer initially :-
The CICA includes case review forms when submitting the written notice of its decision to a claimant. A claimant can appeal the CICAs decision by requesting a review by a more senior case officer. If the claimant is unhappy with the senior officers decision they can appeal it.
The CICA gives 30 days notice from the date of their decision for the claimant to appeal. If new evidence is availed which proves that the awarded amount is unfair, the CICA can increase or reduce the proposed compensation.
The claimant is also eligible to further appeal the CICAs decision to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP) for reconsideration.
Written notification of CICAs initial decision including appeal forms is used to make an appeal to the CICAP. The CICAP is an independent body whose decisions are binding.
In addition the CICA may re-open a case within 2 years however at its discretion the CICA can extend that period.
A claimant who is unhappy with the CICA's decision has the ability to appeal. The first appeal procedure is to request that the decision be reviewed by a more senior case officer. The senior case officer can either amend the decision or reinstate it with no changes. The necessary forms for requesting this review are included with the written notice of the CICA's decision which is provided to the claimant. Should the applicant be dissatisfied with the senior case officer's decision, they can make an appeal to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel which operates independently of the CICA and its decisions are binding. Written notification of the initial decision also includes the forms used for making an appeal to CICAP which will only take place after internal review.
The CICA must give at least 30 days notice of the right to appeal once the decision has been transmitted to the applicant. The 30 days notice must be supplied to enable the applicant to make representations which will be taken into account during the reconsideration of the decision. Upon reconsideration the CICA can increase or decrease the proposed compensation if new evidence is available which makes the original amount unfair or inappropriate.
Even after a final decision has been made, if there is a material change in the victim's medical condition, the CICA has the power to re-open the claim. If the original award of compensation could cause an injustice if allowed to stand, the power to re-open the case may be enforced. Usually, there is a maximum 2 year limitation period on re-opening cases, however the authority has discretion to extend the period in certain circumstances.
A CICA appeal in a criminal injury compensation claim can be made to the Appeals Panel and the application for appeal must normally be received within 90 days of the date of the review decision by the CICA. The 90 day period may in exceptional circumstances be waived by the Appeals Panel if it would be in the interests of justice to do so. Written notification of the outcome of the CICA appeal, giving reasons for the decision, will be sent to both the appellant and to the CICA who must abide by the Appeal Panel's ruling.
There are several reasons why an application can be rejected or the compensation amount reduced by the CICA. Subject to appeal to CICAP, the CICA has the right to refuse or reduce an award if:-
At any time prior to the payment of a final award in a in a criminal injury compensation claim, the CICA has the power to re-consider its decision but where a decision has already been transmitted to an applicant it must give 30 days notice to allow the applicant to make representations which will be taken into account in reconsidering the decision. This enables the CICA to increase or decrease the amounts of an award if new evidence is available which makes the original award unfair or inappropriate.
Even after a final decision has been made in a in a criminal injury compensation claim, the CICA has the power to re-open a case where there has been a material change in the victim's medical condition that would cause injustice if the original award of compensation were allowed to stand. There is usually a maximum 2 year limitation period on re-opening a case however the authority does have discretion to extend the period.
Applications for review to a senior officer must be received by the CICA within 90 days (except in exceptional circumstances) of the initial decision and must be in writing which must outline the reasons for the application. The applicant will be notified in writing of the senior officers decision and if that decision is unsatisfactory then the applicant may appeal to the Appeals Panel which is an outside body that is independent of the CICA.
The Appeals Panel comes under the jurisdiction of The Parliamentary Ombudsman who undertakes independent investigations into complaints about government departments relating to maladministration.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
23 Walker Street
Freepost BEL 1478
The Ombudsman's Office
33 Wellington Place
We are a specialist service that deals with criminal injury compensation claims including a CICA appeal on a no win no fee* basis. Our claims are completely risk free and if the application is unsuccessful, for any reason whatsoever, we will not make any charge to you. You do not have to pay for any expenses or insurance as the claim proceeds. If you would like free advice on the telephone, without obligation, just phone the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.
Our CICA appeal solicitors are members of the Law Society panel of personal injury experts. We provide initial advice on CICA appeals to CICAP at no cost. We will also, in appropriate cases, appeal CICA decisions in respect to rejected claims or inadequate awards. Call our helpline today to speak to a solicitor or complete in the contact form or email our offices and we will get back to you.
Whilst apprehension, prosecution and conviction are not necessary for an award of compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) it may be of interest to consider the process of criminal appeal to a CICA applicant.
A case can be referred to the Criminal Appeal Court either from the Magistrates Court or from the Crown Court as follows :-
An appeal to challenge conviction or sentence in the Magistrates Court is by way of a re-hearing before a Circuit Judge or a Recorder sitting in the Crown Court with two lay magistrates and is subject to another potential appeal by way of 'case stated' to the Queens Bench Division (QBD) which sits as a criminal appeal court. During this process, there is no oral evidence and the judges will read the original arguments submitted during the initial hearing. The judges will then listen to barristerâ€™s arguments before affirming, reversing or amending the original decision of the magistrates. A further application for a re-hearing can be made to the House of Lords on a point of law, with the leave of either the QBD or the House of Lords. When taken to the House of Lords, all original documents from the initial case and barristers arguments will be heard before making a majority decision.
An appeal from the decision of the Magistrates Court can also be taken directly to the QBD when the accused believes that the decision of the magistrates was wrong in law or that they exceeded their jurisdiction. The QBD procedure is outlined above and again a subsequent appeal can be made to the House of Lords in a similar manner.
A defendant has the right of appeal against conviction or sentence in the Crown Court. The application, which is not a re-trial, is heard by the Court of Appeal, sitting as a criminal appeal court, which will consider the documentation and listen to arguments from the barristers. There is a further potential appeal to the House of Lords on a point of law with the leave of either the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords. The House of Lords hearing is not a retrial. The judges read all the original documents submitted in the initial case and listen to the barristers arguments before a majority decision is made.
House of Lords
Some decisions made by the House of Lords can be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights and an appeal can be referred from all courts to the European Court of Justice. In addition the Criminal Cases Review Commission may refer miscarriages of justice to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration.
Our specialist solicitors are members of the Law Society panel of personal injury experts. We offer free initial advice on CICA applications and will review your potential claim and advise on its value. If the claim is refused or the award is inadequate, in appropriate cases, we will appeal the decision. For free advice on risk free no win no fee* claims just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a solicitor will speak to you on the telephone without further obligation.Helpline: ☎