NSW VICTIMS OF CRIME COMPENSATION CHANGES
Victims Services in NSW have placed a halt on the filing of victim's compensation applications pending the passage of new legislation in relation to compensating victims of crime.
If the proposed legislation is passed then a new less generous statutory scheme for compensation will be created and an alternative scheme will commence whereby a victim may be ordered compensation when the offender is convicted of their crime. Any such compensation order however is stayed if the offender lodges an appeal of their conviction and is set aside if the offence is dismissed on appeal.
The proposed changes include:-
(a) A reduction in the amount of compensation payable when a claim is made through Victims Services (ie being the scheme whereby State government money is utilised in providing compensation to victims);
(b) The introduction of tighter time limits for filing Victims Compensation applications.
(c) The ability for a court to order an offender to pay up to $50,000 in compensation directly to the Victim of a Crime or to another aggrieved person.
It would therefore appear that the intention of this legislation is to make it simpler and easier to seek compensation directly from the offender, however this then creates the difficulty of whether an offender can comply with such an order.
Date:- 9 May 2013