Section 276: Compensation for miscarriages of justice
538.This section makes provision for the payment of compensation to a person who has been subject to a miscarriage of justice by the Court Martial. It mirrors the civilian equivalent in section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
539.Compensation payments are made by the Secretary of State, but this is subject to subsections (2) and (3). Subsection (2) provides that if the conviction was the result of the applicant failing to disclose, wholly or in part, the “unknown fact” which led to the miscarriage of justice, he is not entitled to compensation under this section. Subsection (3) provides that compensation is not payable under this provision unless an application for such compensation has been made to the Secretary of State.
540.The Secretary of State has the power to determine whether there is a right to compensation under subsection (4). Where he determines that there is such a right, subsection (5) provides that the amount of compensation is to be assessed by an assessor (appointed by the Secretary of State).
541.Subsection (6) requires the assessor to have regard to certain factors in assessing the amount of compensation, and subsection (7) explains what constitutes a “conviction having been reversed” for the purpose of this section. This will include a case in which the CMAC quashes a conviction following a reference by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (which is given power to make such references by section 321 and Schedule 11).
542.Subsection (8) gives effect to Schedule 9, which deals with the appointment of assessors etc.