Case Summary


Citation 1991  QBD  Unreported 
Decision Date 05/02/1991
Scheme Pre-tariff Schemes
Paragraph Number 4, 8
Keywords Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 1990 – Paragraphs 4 & 8 – Sexual abuse of child – Limitation - Delay in making application – Discretion to waive time limits –Exceptional circumstances
Headnote Summary of decision The Applicant (‘W’) sought compensation for incidents of sexual abuse that had taken place 10 - 16 years previously. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (‘The Board’) rejected the application under paragraph 4 of the Scheme, as it was not made within 3 years, and refused to waive the limitation requirement. Upon judicial review the Court upheld the Board’s decision: the fact that the Board in other cases had been more generous in waiving the limitation requirement did not make their decision unreasonable. Facts The Applicant (‘W’) was allegedly subject to sexual abuse from her stepfather as a child between 1974 and 1980. In 1982 she was married and became of age. In 1988, the stepfather was convicted of the abuse. In 1990, W made an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (‘the Board’), which was refused on the basis that paragraph 4 of the Scheme required applications to be made “within 3 years of the incident giving rise to the injury, except that the Board may in exceptional circumstances waive this requirement”. W sought leave to challenge the Board’s decision on the grounds that (i) the decision was unreasonable and the chairman failed to take into account paragraph 8 of the Scheme and (ii) having regard to similar cases and statistics, there is no uniformity in the Board’s approach and therefore the exercise of the discretion was capricious and unreasonable. Held (1) The absence of any reference to paragraph 8 of the Scheme (which deals with applicants living in the same household as the person responsible for the injury) does not vitiate in any way the conclusion the Board reached, namely that the period of time between reaching adult age and the date of application was an unreasonable time. (2) The fact that the Board is generous in some cases as to what is an exceptional case is not a good reason for saying that the Board behaved unreasonably in this case. There was material for the Board to come to the conclusion it did. (3) Application refused. Parts of scheme and other legislation referred to in judgment 1990 Scheme, paragraphs 4 & 8 Mr M Berkin instructed by Messrs Samuel Phillips & Co for the Applicant The Respondent did not appear and was not represented
Download R_v_CICB_ex_parte_Wilson.pdf