Victims Claims Rights

( Justice Minister Simon Power has welcomed the passing of a bill to ensure victims continue to have access to compensation awarded to prisoners.

The Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims (Expiry and Application Dates) Amendment Act extends provisions that were due to expire on 30 June.

The Act restricts monetary compensation from being awarded to prisoners except in extraordinary circumstances where something in the system has gone wrong and other remedies are not appropriate.

If compensation must be awarded, the Act allows victims of the prisoner to claim against it before the prisoner can.

“The Act ensures victims are not locked out of the claims process while new legislation is being developed,” Mr Power said.

“That legislation will mean that when compensation is awarded, anything remaining after the victim has claimed against it will be redirected to the Victims’ Services Appropriation. It will then be used to fund additional services and entitlements for victims of crime generally.”

“The appropriation has already been put to good use, paying for five new or enhanced entitlements for victims of serious crime and come July 1 three more will be added.

“This bill will be another step in putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.”

Media Release 24 June from Hon Simon Power, Minister of Justice.