A landmark Court of Appeal ruling has overturned the ‘same roof’ rule; which previously prevented victims from claiming compensation for criminal injury sustained before 1 October 1979 if they lived “together as members of the same family” with the assailant.
The rule was viewed as greatly unjust by many, including the appellant of the case. The court heard that she had sustained years of sexual abuse from the age of four, carried out by her step-father in her family home.
Despite the severity of the crime and its repercussions, the appellant was denied compensation because of the ‘same roof’ rule.
By contrast, a relative of hers was awarded compensation in respect of assault by the assailant because she did not live in the same home as him.
The court has ruled that the ‘same roof’ rule was incompatible with human rights laws and judges agreed that the appellant should be awarded compensation.
Lord Justice Leggatt stated that the scheme was “obviously unfair”, made all the more unfair because the reason for the appellant to be denied compensation (living in the same home) is something she had no control over and a situation which “most people would surely regard as making her predicament and suffering even worse.”
The head of Verisona’s Historic Abuse team has commented that “this opens up an opportunity for those who were previously unjustly and unfairly precluded from claiming for compensation via the CICA, an opportunity to receive justice”.
A link to the full judgement is below.
If you, or a loved one, have been refused compensation by the CICA or wish to make an application, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers who will be happy to speak to you about whether it may be possible to pursue.
If you, or a loved one, have been affected by sexual abuse, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers who will be happy to speak to you about whether it may be possible to bring an abuse claim.
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