Compensation for a Miscarriage of Justice

Any person (or member of their family if deceased) who believes that they have suffered a miscarriage of justice as a result of a wrongful conviction may apply to the Department of Justice for compensation.

Certain criteria must be met by the defendant:

  • the conviction must be overturned on appeal or you must have been pardoned
  • the ground for this should be that a new or newly discovered fact (fresh evidence) shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice
  • the fresh evidence must, therefore, be the ground on which the appeal succeeded and must show that the person has suffered a miscarriage of justice

Royal Prerogative of Mercy

Under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM), the British monarch may grant pardons or reduce the sentence of a convicted person.

The Royal Prerogative of Mercy is used in cases involving an unjust conviction or punishment where the normal legal process has no remedy.

In terrorism convictions, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for exercising the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

Contact Details

Legacy Litigation and Projects Unit | Criminal Justice Policy and Legislation Division | Department of Justice

Massey House | Stormont Estate | Belfast | BT4 3SX



Back to top