MAKING AN APPEAL: A victim can make an appeal for a compensation payment or to increase the amount already decided by the CICA.
Appeals go to the First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation). After appealing Criminal Injuries Compensation decision, the tribunal can:
- Uphold the original decision made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
- Request that the CICA make their decision once again.
- Increase or reduce the award payment.
- Decide that the victim should not get any compensation at all.
The First-tier Tribunal (CIC) operates independent of government. Their main role is listening to both sides of a disagreement before making a final decision.
As the victim of a violent crime, you can choose to represent yourself at the tribunal. But, it may be wise to get some expert help and advice before making an appeal.
Note: You should make your appeal to the tribunal within 90 days of the date of the review decision by CICA. You would need to give a valid reason for a late appeal if you miss the deadline (e.g. waiting for medical reports).
Appeal to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal
The first step is to download the application form titled ‘Form T210: Appeal form‘ and then fill it in. Make sure you complete the sections stating your reasons for disagreeing with the decision made by the CICA.
You will need to send several other documents along with the application, such as:
- The CICA decision letter that you received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
- Any relevant documentation that supports your case (e.g. loss of earnings, medical records).
Send all the documents together to the address written on the form. You can phone the CICA helpline or send them an email if you need help completing the form. But, the tribunal staff will not be able to provide any legal advice.
How the Tribunal Decides an Appeal
The tribunal are going to send a copy of the appeal form to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The tribunal, and the applicant, should receive a response from the CICA within four to six weeks. If you want to submit extra information or arguments to the tribunal you will need to do it within one (1) month.
The tribunal will inform you by letter how your appeal will get decided. As a rule, they will make a decision based on the paperwork submitted in the case or at a hearing. If they do not allocate a hearing you can make a request to the tribunal to set one up for you.
If the tribunal judge makes a decision based on the paperwork ‘alone’ they will send the outcome to you by post. They will provide you with at least fourteen (14) days of notice if they set up a hearing for the case.
CICA Tribunal Hearing Procedures
In most cases, they would hold the hearing in the same region as covered by the police force who investigated the crime. In attendance at the hearing will be:
- Two or three tribunal judges or tribunal members.
- A clerk.
- A representative from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
- Any witnesses involved in the case.
Note: It is not uncommon for a police officer with an involvement in the case to attend if doing so would help the tribunal. But, it would be very rare for offenders to attend hearings at Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunals.
During the hearing, you will get asked questions about the actual crime and the extent of your injuries. You can choose to answer the questions yourself or someone else can do it for you. You can ask a lawyer, a friend, or a family member to speak to the judge on your behalf.
The tribunal may call for witnesses to enter the hearing room to give their evidence. But, they will leave the room after they have finished. You can ask questions during the hearing (or your representative). You will also get an opportunity to make any relevant points at the end of the hearing.
Note: In most cases you would get the decision made by the tribunal on the same day as the hearing.
Claiming Expenses for Attending the Hearing
You may want to claim expenses for attending the hearing (e.g. your travel costs). You will receive information from the tribunal how to claim expenses for going to a hearing.
What Happens If You Lose the Appeal
In fact, there is no automatic right of appeal if you lose the case. But, you might consider asking for a ‘judicial review’ of the tribunal’s decision. In simple terms, that means they may hear the case once again.
As a rule, you would need a legal reason to suggest that the decision was wrong to get a judicial review. It is wise to get legal representation in such cases (e.g. hire a solicitor).
Before Applying for a Judicial Review:
- Write a letter to the tribunal stating why you believe the original decision was wrong.
- Ask the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal for written reasons behind the decision.
Note: You must carry out these steps within one (1) month of the date of the tribunal decision.
How to Apply in England and Wales
The application process differs throughout the United Kingdom. Applicants who live in England or Wales must get permission from the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber).
Note: Download and fill in ‘Form N461: Apply for a judicial review of a decision‘. Return the form to the address written on the document. You can read more about the Upper Tribunal process and their role.
How to Apply in Scotland
Applicants who live in Scotland need permission from the Court of Session. Use ‘Form 40.2: Form of application for leave to appeal‘ and send it to:
Court of Session
Edinburgh EH1 1RQ
Tribunal Rules and Decisions on Previous Cases
Previous CICA Appeals Decisions
The decisions database represents how and why previous decisions got made. Thus, a tribunal will make a current decision based on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.
Tribunal Case Legislation
A tribunal follows Social Entitlement Chamber tribunal procedure rules in their handling of a case. Thus, it will follow the rules set out in the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Social Entitlement Chamber) Rules 2008. Extra information is available in the Practice Directions and Statements guide.