July 29, 2004
Hotel Charges for Prisoners.
You may have seen the AP report about the result of the appeal in the case where prisoners have their awards for wrongful conviction reduced by the "savings" they have made in living expenses while in prison. Mr Free Market certainly has.
Here's the background, lifted from a comment I left at Samizdata when the appeal was being heard:
Re the calculation of compensation and " hotel " charges.
I can give you a good reason why the Tories are not up in arms about it. Because it is inherent in laws they passed.
The whole idea of statutory ( rather than ex gratia ) compensation payments came into law with the 1988 Criminal Justice Act .There was a minor modification in 1995.
The basic thought is that compensation will be calculated in the same way as civil damages. OK, fair enough one might say. Loss of earnings, emotional and physical damage, loss of pension rights : these are all included.
However, we also have the 1982 Administration of Justice Act which provides as follows :
"“in an action ….for personal injuries any saving to the injured person which is attributable to his maintenance wholly or partly at public expense in a hospital, nursing home or other institution shall be set off against any income lost by him as a result of his injuries”.
So, it appears that the current ( I haven't seen a verdict, so I assume the case is ongoing ) case with Blunkett, against which you railed, is in fact a rare example of the current Home Secretary attempting to uphold the lsw as inherited from previous administrations.
I agree, it still stinks, but it ain't Blunkett's fault. Perhaps those who framed the original laws, perhaps the only two people who have held the office of compensation assesor ( Sir David Caldicutt and Lord Brennan ), but not Davey Boy.
I mean, you do want the Home Secretary to uphold the law of the land, don't you ?
No, I don't think that it ends up being a good piece of law but blaming New Labour for it ain't gonna work. 1982 was Maggie.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hotel Charges for Prisoners.: