News In Focus
"Same roof" rule to end for pre-1979 criminal injuries compensation claims
The "same roof" rule, preventing claims for criminal injuries compensation where the claimant was injured by a member of their own household, is finally to end after a climbdown by the UK Government.
Ministers have withdrawn their opposition to an appeal to the UK Supreme Court by Monica Allan from East Kilbride, whose mother attempted to strangle her in 1974 when she was five years old.
It was originally feared that allowing same roof claims would encourage bogus applications for compensation, or enable perpetrators to benefit from compensation payouts. The rule was changed in 1979, but the new rule was not made retrospective.
Mrs Allan, who was brought up in foster care after the attempt on her life, brought a human rights challenge to the exclusionary rule with the support of the Legal Services Agency law centre in Glasgow. She was unsuccessful before the Court of Session but won permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court.
Her solicitor, Kirsti Nelson, described the case as "incredibly important" and as potentially opening the door to hundreds of other claims. She said: "We would recommend that anybody puts in a criminal injuries application at present and asks for it to be put on hold pending the Government amending the scheme."