HC Deb 15 February 1968 vol 758 c1551
3. Mr. Edward Lyons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation to enable the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to assess and award compensation for financial and other loss to such persons as shall be certified by a court to have been wrongly charged with a criminal offence of which another person is subsequently convicted.

Mr. Taverne

I have every sympathy with the innocent person wrongly accused, but I am not satisfied that it would be right or practicable to confer a statutory right to compensation.

Mr. Lyons

Is my hon. and learned Friend not aware that in 1967 there were at least three cases of men charged with criminal offences of which other men were subsequently convicted? Does he not think that it is about time that these men should have what he suggests is not practicable—an absolute right to claim compensation for the humiliation which they suffered?

Mr. Taverne

The difficulty about my hon. Friend's rather ingenious suggestion is that it involves discriminating between certain kinds of acquittal and other kinds of acquittal and making the right to compensation depend on a subsequent event, the conviction of someone else, which is an invidious distinction and would make it unjust to refuse it in other cases.

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