Written Answers. - Compensation for Attack Victims.

Dermot Ahern

Ceist:

495 Mr. D. Ahern asked the Minister for Justice if she will consider amending the criminal injuries compensation scheme in order to allow for some element of compensation to be made to those members of the general public who have been innocent victims of extremely violent physical attacks in view of the recent punishment beatings in this State and also in view of the increased level of violent crime against women; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16538/96]

Under the scheme of compensation for personal injuries criminally inflicted all persons in the State may claim in respect of their injuries. The scheme already allows for the payment of ex gratia compensation in the form of certain out of pocket expenses and medical expenses: (a) in respect of personal injury where the injury is directly attributable to a crime of violence, or (b) in circumstances arising from the action of the victim in assisting or attempting to assist the prevention of crime or the saving of human life.

The Government's policy agreement A Government of Renewal includes a commitment to review the criminal injuries compensation scheme.

The review, which has involved research into other compensation schemes both in this jurisdiction and abroad, is well advanced in my Department and I expect to receive shortly a report which will set out the options open to the Government.

Any proposals which I might have, following detailed examination of these matters, will have to be considered and approved by the Government.