Criminal injuries compensation : the British experience
The purpose of this thesis is to trace and explain the history and development of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme from its creation in 1964 as a purely administrative arrangement up until, and including, its transition into a statutory creature under the Criminal Justice Act 1988. It is argued that the Scheme is best understood as performing a symbolic function; its purpose is to make a social statement about the victim of violent crime. This thesis is borne out by an examination of the creation and evolution of the Scheme. All aspects of the Scheme are discussed in detail: the procedures through which an award of compensation is made; the way in which the amount of an award is calculated; the scope of the Scheme; and the methods used to ensure that only those who deserve compensation receive awards. As regards each of these major elements of compensation, an account is provided of 1) the process through which the original format of the Scheme came into being, 2) the problems which particular formulations of the rules have caused, 3) the way in which the provisions of the Scheme have evolved to meet these difficulties and 4) the drafting of the new statutory rules. The research was carried out primarily by extensive analysis of official publications and discourse: Parliamentary debates; Command Papers and other such publications; the annual Reports of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board; and legal cases.