Experts Welcome Compensation Changes For Overseas Terrorism Victims

Positive Step ‘Will Help Victims'

17.04.2012

Lawyers who represent victims of terrorist attacks across the globe have welcomed legal changes which will help victims and their families gain access to vital financial support.

Justice minister Crispin Blunt has confirmed in a written statement that British, EU or EEA victims who lived in the UK for a minimum of three years before being injured in attacks will be able to seek financial support.

The scheme, which replaces a more restricted initiative previously in use, will apply to several high-profile attacks in the past decade including:

  • The Bali bombings in October 2002
  • Attacks in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt in July 2005
  • Attacks in Mumbai in November 2008
  • Bombings in Kusadasi in July 2005
  • The Dahab bombings in Egypt in April 2006
  • Bombings in Marmaris, Turkey in August 2006

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have represented dozens of victims of terrorist attacks around the world, including many who have been left with serious and life changing injuries as well as the families of many who have been killed. The firm has acted for victims following events including the 9/11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Centre in New York, the 7/7 London bombing attack, the Manchester city centre IRA bombing, the bombing of Pan–Am flight 103 over Lockerbie and terrorist attacks in countries including Egypt and Spain.

Commenting on the extension of the existing Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme, Clive Garner, Head of Travel Law at Irwin Mitchell commented,  “This announcement is a positive step for those who have had their lives changed as a result of a terrorist attack outside the UK.

“Through our work we have seen first-hand the huge toll that such incidents take on innocent victims who have been left with serious, long-term and often permanent  physical and psychological injuries and of course the families of those who have been tragically killed.

“These changes should mean that a number of victims who would have previously been unable to qualify under the Criminal Injuries scheme should now be eligible. Payments under the scheme are currently capped at £500,000 for the most seriously injured victims. While today’s extension of the scheme  is certainly a positive step and one that we and our clients welcome, the maximum available payment  is simply not enough to adequately fund all of the care needs, therapies and other expenses that victims with the most serious injuries will incur over their lifetimes. “

He outlined: “While it is undeniable that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme has been helpful to many, we continue to call upon the Government to increase the level of compensation payable for the most seriously injured and most vulnerable victims of crime.”