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Compensation Orders

What is a Compensation Order? 

A compensation order is an order of the Court directing an offender, who has been convicted of an offence, to pay compensation to their victim if they have suffered an injury or loss, or destruction or damage to property as a direct result of the offence.

In a compensation order application made under Section 85B of the Sentencing Act, an order may be made up of amounts for the following:

  • pain and suffering experienced by the victim as a direct result of the offence
  • some or all of any expenses incurred, or reasonably likely to be incurred, by the victim for counselling services
  • some or all of any medical expenses incurred, or reasonably likely to be incurred, by the victim as a direct result of the offence
  • for some or all of any other expenses incurred, or reasonably likely to be incurred, by the victim as a direct result of the offence, not including any expense arising from loss of or damage to property.

When to Apply? 

The application for compensation must be made within 12 months of the offender being found guilty or convicted. A court may extend time in certain circumstances to make an application for compensation order if it is of the opinion that it is in the interest of justice to do so.

Who can Apply?

Compensation Order Applications pursuant to Section 85B of the Sentencing Act can be made: 

  • by the victim; or on the victim’s behalf by any person if the victim is a child or if the victim is incapable of making the application . For example, because of illness or physical or mental impairment, or 
  • by the Director of Public Prosecutions (if the sentencing court was a court other than the Magistrates’ Court) or by the informant or police prosecutor (in the Magistrates’ Court). 

Compensation Order for Destruction or Damage to Property

Courts may also make an order for compensation for property loss.

Pursuant to Section 86 of the Sentencing Act, if a court finds a person guilty, or convicts a person of an offence, it may order the offender to pay the victim compensation for any loss, destruction or damage to property (not exceeding the value of the property) that the Court thinks fit. 

Restraining Assets 

In some circumstances it may be possible for the Department of Public Prosecutions to restrain the assets of an offender to ensure the offender does not sell or give them away. 

How we may assist 

If you would like to discuss the possibility of making an application for a compensation order or seek to have an offender’s assets restrained, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss, even if the offender has yet to be convicted. At YouLawyer, we have a team of lawyers who have experience assisting with compensation order applications.