Guide

Miscarriage of justice: apply for compensation
Last updated: 1 May 2019

After you apply

The Scottish Ministers will decide whether your application is eligible for compensation.

If your application is successful

If your application is successful, an independent assessor will decide how much compensation you should get. Independent assessors are appointed by the Scottish Ministers.

The independent assessor will review your case by considering:

  • economic loss caused by the miscarriage of justice – for example, loss of wages
  • non-economic loss caused by the miscarriage of justice – for example, mental ill health

The independent assessor may also take account of:

  • whether your actions contributed in any way to the wrongful conviction or charge
  • any other convictions you have and the punishments resulting from them

The Scottish Ministers will send you a letter setting out the independent assessor's decision.

The Scottish Ministers will consider whether any expenses (for example, legal) should be paid for as part of your compensation.

You cannot negotiate the amount of compensation you get, unless there is a good reason why (for example, the independent assessor did not take a point into account).

You do not need to accept the compensation you're offered. You can still try to claim compensation in other ways, for example a civil claim for damages. A solicitor can help you with this.

A decision to pay compensation is not an admission of legal liability on the part of Scottish Ministers.

If your application is not successful

The Scottish Ministers will send you a letter explaining why your application was not successful.

You can still try to claim compensation in other ways, for example a civil claim for damages. A solicitor can help you with this.

Appeal a rejection

Write a letter to the Scottish Ministers within 28 days of getting your rejection letter.

Send your appeal letter to:

The Scottish Government
Criminal Law and Practice Unit
Criminal Justice Division
St Andrew's House
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

You should include the reasons why the Scottish Ministers should reconsider your application. For example, if there is new information about your case that was not available when you first applied.

If you need more time to appeal, you must write to the Scottish Ministers before the 28-day deadline to request this.

If your appeal is not successful, the Scottish Ministers will close your case. You cannot apply about the same case again.