Court of Appeal judgment in Sam Hallam’s compensation for miscarriage of justice appeal

The Court of Appeal gave judgment in the case of R (Hallam) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2016] EWCA Civ 355, on 11 April 2016. 


Heather Williams QC and Adam Straw, instructed by Marcia Willis Stewart, acted for Mr Hallam. He was imprisoned aged 17 and convicted of murder. His murder conviction was later quashed by the Court of Appeal, but he had already spent 7 1/2 years in custody. His application for compensation was rejected. He judicially review that decision, arguing that the new legislation governing compensation (s.133(1ZA) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988) was unlawful, as it was contrary to the presumption of innocence within article 6(2) ECHR. He sought a declaration of incompatibility. His claim was joined to a similar claim by Victor Nealon. 


The Court of Appeal rejected the Secretary of State’s argument that article 6(2) does not apply to applications for compensation for miscarriage of justice. However, the Court of Appeal considered that it was bound by previous Supreme Court authority to conclude, contrary to more recent Strasbourg authority, that article 6(2) did not apply. The Court of Appeal also decided that the terms of the test in s.133(1ZA) CJA 1988 did not offend the presumption of innocence. For these reasons it rejected the appeals by Mr Hallam and Mr Nealon. 


Mr Hallam is hoping to seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, so that the previous binding authority, which is inconsistent with more recent Strasbourg authorities, can be reconsidered. 


Media includes this:

The judgment is avalible here


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