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Challenging Miscarriage Compensation - The Date is set

Mark Newby from QS Jordans writes on the current challenge to the Government over miscarriage compensation which has now been given a 2 day hearing commencing on 12th May 2015 in London

The astonishing case of Victor Nealon continues to occupy the interest of both the media and the public with that looking set to continue  as he heads towards a final hearing over miscarriage compensation . For example see the latest Justice Gap article here on the case 

To remind readers Victor Nealon had his conviction quashed after having served 17 years when the original victims clothing was finally tested and showed the presence of someone elses DNA and not Victor Nealons . 

Yet despite  this the Secretary of State for Justice seeks to avoid compensating Victor Nealon deploying the new section , introduced by the Government in haste , which now requires a claimant to show that as a result of the newly discovered fact that they can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did not commit the offence

Bearing in mind that Victor Nealon had his innocence restored to him by the Court of Appeal Criminal Division it is not hard to see why it is argued that the actions of the Secretary of State breach the principle of a claimants right to innocence . This is a central issue which the Administrative Court will need to determine . In any event the reader might think  that the evidence does show that Victor Nealon did not commit the offence

The case has already been through many twists and turns . Originally Victor Nealon was refused legal aid and this has now been overturned . Further the Administrative Court originally tried to refuse permission and declare part of the claim totally without merit . The Secretary of State sought as a result to recover £2500 in costs from a man who left prison with less than £50 . 

Yet once again this decision has been overturned and Victor Nealon now has permission on all grounds for his judicial review against the government . The case of Sam Hallam has also been joined to the test case and will be heard as a rolled up application . 

So the battle lines are drawn and the case now has a listing for 2 days in the Administrative Court on 12th and 13th May . What is at stake is how we as a society deal with those we wrongfully send to prison who should be compensated . 

Victor Nealon is represented by Mark Newby from QualitySolicitors Jordans . His Counsel is Matthew Stanbury of Garden Court North Chambers Manchester . The same team that successfully represented Ian lawless in Ali and Others v SSJ [ 2013 ] 


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