In July of 2018 the Court of Appeal ruled that the “same roof rule” imposed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority was discriminatory and contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.
The same roof rule applied to assaults prior to 1 October 1979. As a result of this rule if the Applicant lived in the same house as their attacker, as members of the same family, they were deprived of the chance to obtain compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
This impacted on many of our abuse clients. I regularly received refusals of compensation from the CICA where a child had been abused by a parent simply because they were living in the same house at the same time.
The rule was manifestly unfair. If the child had been abused by a school teacher or a neighbour there would have been an entitlement to compensation. It always seemed terribly unfair that if that child has been abused by their own mother or father they would have been denied the right to compensation.
The Court of Appeal considered the position in relation to a child who had been sexually assaulted and raped by her step father within the family home. The Court of Appeal took into account the Human Rights Act and ruled that the Scheme was unfair.
We immediately received enquiries for existing and previous clients who were affected by this change in the law.
I am now acting for various clients who were abused within a family environment prior to 1979. Until the Court of Appeal decision in summer of last year they would not have been able to bring a claim. They now have claims which are likely to succeed.
When I initially contacted the CICA I was told that they could take no action until legislation was put in place to enact the change that the Court of Appeal’s decision had brought about.
I am now receiving letters from the CICA which confirm that this legislation has now been passed.
I am therefore expecting the first pay outs for the pre 1979 victims to come through very shortly.
This is fantastic news for victims of historic abuse. The Scheme was fundamentally flawed and the Court of Appeal has addressed the position. Now that legislation has been enacted to confirm the Court of Appeal’s decision any pre 1979 victim should come forward and pursue claims for what they suffered.
If you have been affected by abuse within a family environment prior to 1979 and wish to discuss the possibility of bringing a claim please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team here at Farleys Solicitors on 0330 134 6430 or submit your enquiry online.