Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals

The Office of Criminal Injuries Compensation was established pursuant to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA) to compensate victims for injuries suffered as a consequence of an offence. Compensation can be awarded if bodily harm, mental or nervous shock or pregnancy results from an offence. Compensation may cover: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income and/or medical expenses.

You can find out more information from the website of the Office for Criminal Injuries Compensation and at the Victims of Crime website.

A Criminal Injuries Compensation Assessor at the Office of Criminal Injuries Compensation will determine whether or not compensation is paid.

A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Assessor, or who receives an award for compensation that they consider to be unsatisfactory, can appeal the decision or amount awarded to the District Court of Western Australia.

Appeals can be made by both the victim of an offence, or the offender against the decisions and awards made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Assessor. The person making the appeal is called the ‘Appellant’.

Where a victim appeals against an award because he or she believes it is too low, the offender should be named the as the 'Respondent'.

Where an offender believes the award is too high, the victim should be named as the 'Respondent'.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Assessor should never be named as the 'Respondent'.

Appeals should be commenced in the District Court within 21 days of the date of the award or the decision. The Court does have discretion to extend this timeframe, where it considers it appropriate to do so on an individual case basis.

If you do appeal after 21 days, you must apply to the court to seek leave to appeal out of time by circling yes for “Is an Extension of Time Required?” on the Form 6 and file and serve an affidavit in support. The affidavit should be filed with the appeal papers.

The appeal involves a rehearing of the original case on the material and evidence that were before the Assessor of Criminal Injuries Compensation. The Judge may allow further evidence to be filed, but only in exceptional circumstances and with the leave of the Court. It is necessary for the appellant to show some error by the Assessor. However, once an error is established, the Judge can make any order that the Assessor could have made.

There will be an initial directions hearing before a Registrar of the District Court. Should the Appeal not be dismissed by the Registrar and when it is ready for the final hearing, it will be listed before a Judge.

It will be the Judge's role to decide the application afresh based on all the evidence presented to the Assessor, and any other evidence or information the Judge may decide to receive.

You must serve the notice on three different parties:

  • The Respondent
  • The Chief Assessor, Criminal Injuries Compensation
  • The State Solicitor’s Office, who acts for the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of the Attorney General

The addresses details for service for the Chief Assessor and the State Solicitor's Office can be found in the Procedure Guide.

The appeal notice must be personally served on the respondent.  If the respondent is in prison, it can be served by sending it to the superintendent of the prison by ordinary pre-paid post.

If an Appellant does not know the Respondent’s address, the Appellant can apply to the Court for an order allowing service in some other way, for example, by advertisement or by post to a third party.

An appellant must complete and file with the Court an appeal notice.

There is a filing/hearing fee for an individual to commence the appeal, these fees are set out in the District Court's Fee Chart - Item 5.

The law governing appeals from a Criminal Injuries Compensation Assessor is Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA). Part 7 and District Court Rules 2005 (WA) Part 6.

Last updated: 29-Sep-2020

[ back to top ]