News story

Secretary of State appoints independent assessor of miscarriages of justice compensation

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Secretary of State's announcement on the appointment of David Schoffield QC as independent assessor of miscarriages of justice compensation.

“I am today announcing the appointment of David Scoffield QC as an independent assessor of miscarriages of justice compensation under section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

“The assessor is appointed under schedule 12 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. I have appointed David Scoffield to act in this role in relation to a specific case involving a number of applicants.

“The assessor’s role is to assess the amount of compensation to be paid under section 133 once Ministers have decided that the eligibility criteria are met. Neither Ministers nor civil servants play any role in the assessment of compensation and I am required by section 133 (4) to accept the award made by the assessor. The assessor plays no role in deciding whether an applicant is eligible under section 133.

“The assessor is an ‘office holder’ rather than a public appointment so the appointment rules of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) are not required to be followed.

“David Scoffield is eminently qualified for the role. He practises chiefly in the field of constitutional, administrative and public law but also has considerable experience of procurement law and inquests. In the public law field, he has particular experience of judicial review challenges relating to, inter alia, criminal procedure, prisons and criminal injuries compensation. He acts frequently both for and against the government and public authorities; is on the Government Civil Panel of counsel eligible to represent government departments; and is eligible to act as a special advocate. I believe that he will have the confidence of the applicants and their representatives.”