Victims' Special Claims Tribunal

When prisoners or offenders are awarded money for wrongs that occur in the corrections or criminal justice system, the victims of their crimes are able to make a claim against that compensation.

The Victims’ Special Claims Tribunal decides whether or not a victim is entitled to any of the money awarded to the offender.

The amount the victim can claim is not limited to the amount of money awarded to the offender.

When a victim makes a claim, a District Court judge will decide whether or not they should get any of the offender’s compensation.

Victims’ Special Claims Trust account

The process starts when an offender is awarded compensation. The offender does not get the money straight away. The money is paid into the Victims' Special Claims Trust account and remains there until the victims’ claims process is complete.

Public notice that compensation was awarded to the offender

The Secretary of the tribunal will make every effort to tell the offender’s victims about their right to make a claim.

Notices will be published on this website, in the New Zealand Gazette, and in the daily newspapers in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The notice will include the offender's name, the amount of money paid into the trust account, and the date by which victims must file a claim.

The Secretary will also contact other government agencies to ask whether they can help with locating victims.

Victims’ Special Claims Tribunal - COVID-19 protocol at 18 August 2021

  1. If COVID-19 restrictions are at Alert Level 3 or Level 4 anywhere in New Zealand, any in-person hearings will be adjourned. Where possible, teleconferences will be convened to progress hearings. If this is not possible, matters will be rescheduled to a future date.
  2. If COVID-19 restrictions are at Alert Level 2 anywhere in New Zealand, any in-person hearings will continue.
  3. Parties affected by any change in the Tribunal’s usual operating procedures will be advised and provided with information to ensure that they understand how their matter will be handled by the Tribunal.

  4. This protocol applies until revoked or modified by the Tribunal.

Victims’ Special Claims Tribunal
Judge Connell

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