Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Justice and Equality

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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114. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to review the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal system in view of the fact that some aspects of questioning may have an effect of retraumatising victims (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43854/19]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal administers two schemes:

- the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted and;

- the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted on Prison Officers.

The Tribunal is made up qualified barristers and solicitors. Under the terms of the Scheme, the Tribunal is limited to a Chair and 6 ordinary members who provide services on a part-time basis. It is entirely independent in the matter of individual decisions on applications for compensation.

The Deputy will appreciate that in these circumstances, I cannot comment on individual cases.

In relation to arrangements for the Tribunal, I can confirm that five Departmental staff act as Secretariat to the Tribunal. These staff receive applications and gather the necessary information from applicants and other stakeholders such as An Garda Síochána in relation to each case. When all required information is available, Tribunal staff send the file to the Tribunal for consideration and decision. Where a decision is appealed, Tribunal staff make arrangements for a Tribunal appeal hearing.

Each case is addressed on the basis of its individual circumstances.  Tribunal members must be satisfied that all supporting documentation submitted is in order for example Garda reports, medical reports, vouched receipts for expenses, and so on. In some cases, as part of the medical data provided to the Tribunal, a psychiatric evaluation may be submitted.  I would point out that the manner in which medical assessments are carried out and the information included by medical professionals in any medical reports submitted to the Tribunal are determined by the treating physicians.

I can further inform the Deputy that the Law Reform Commission in its fifth Programme of Law Reform published in 2019 has identified a review of the Scheme of Compensation for Injuries Criminally Inflicted as one of fifteen projects it intends to undertake.


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