Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (672, 673, 674)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

672. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the budget for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal. [22607/14]

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Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

673. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the figure for outstanding adjudications from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal which have yet to be paid. [22608/14]

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Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

674. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the failure to appoint the membership of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is a budgetary measure; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22609/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 672 to 674, inclusive, together.

I can inform the Deputy that under the terms of the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is entirely independent in the matter of individual applications that fall to be considered under the Scheme.

The Tribunal's budget for 2014 is €4.231 m. (see 2014 Revised Estimates for Public Services).

As the Deputy may be aware, a Tribunal Chairperson, Mr. John Cheatle, B.L. who can, under the terms of the Scheme, determine applications and is entirely independent in that regard, was appointed by my predecessor in October 2013.

As the Deputy may also be aware, in November 2013 my predecessor secured a supplementary estimate of €7.3 m. for the Tribunal. This money enabled the Tribunal to pay all outstanding agreed awards accepted under this cash limited scheme during 2013, leaving no arrears of payments at year's end.

I can further inform the Deputy that a press release issued on 9 April, 2014 seeking expressions of interest from suitably-qualified persons who wish to be considered for appointment as members to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal. The closing date for receipt of expressions of interest was 29 April, 2014. I am currently examining the expressions of interest received and I expect to make appointments to the Tribunal in the near future.

Finally, I understand that at present the Tribunal has no outstanding awards under the scheme on hand for payment.