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Monday, Jul 22, 2024

UK System for Wrongful Conviction Payouts Upheld by European Court

UK System for Wrongful Conviction Payouts Upheld by European Court

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favor of the UK's stringent test for wrongful conviction compensation, which requires proving innocence beyond reasonable doubt. This decision leaves most victims, including Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon, without financial redress despite overturned convictions. Legal advocates urge the government to revise the system, arguing it imposes an nearly impossible burden on those wrongfully imprisoned.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK's test for wrongful conviction compensation is lawful, leaving most victims of miscarriages of justice without financial redress.

This ruling follows the test case brought by Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon, who served 24 years combined in prison for crimes they did not commit.

British law requires exonerated individuals to prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt, a standard critics say contradicts the 'innocent until proven guilty' principle.

Despite new evidence leading to overturned convictions, neither Hallam nor Nealon received any compensation.

A 12-to-5 ruling from the court deemed the UK’s position necessary to protect acquitted persons from being treated as guilty by public authorities.

However, dissenting judges noted that the stringent UK criteria are nearly impossible to meet, with over 93% of applicants denied compensation.

Nealon and Hallam's legal representatives call for revised legislation to address the current system's shortcomings, highlighting the severe mental and financial toll on wrongfully convicted individuals.

Both men continue their fight for justice, hoping future government action will amend the compensation scheme.

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