§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent changes have been made to the method of calculation of compensation to be awarded to victims of miscarriages of justice; if he will place a document setting out the Independent Assessor's approach in the Library; what measures he will take to ensure that victims may benefit proportionately from these changes; and how many people are awaiting settlement of compensation claims. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
In calculating the amount of compensation to be awarded to victims of miscarriages of justice, the independent assessor applies principles analogous to those governing the assessment of damages for civil wrongs. He must, therefore, give effect to any developments which may occur in the law and have regard to such judicial authority as there may be at the time of making an assessment. To that extent, the background against which he has to assess compensation928W is changing all the time. There has recently been a change of assessor (Lord Daniel Brennan succeeded Sir David Calcutt with effect from 27 July) but that does not mean that there has been a change in how compensation is calculated because, whoever is the assessor, the same principles will be applied.
The basis on which compensation is assessed is made clear in statute (section 133(4A) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988); in the Home office "Compensation for Miscarriages of Justice—Note for Successful Applicants" (copies of which have already been placed in the Library); and in individual Assessments.
As at 20 September 2001 there were 112 cases where a decision had been made to pay compensation but for a variety of reasons the claim had yet to be settled. These range from the many cases where successful applicants have yet to submit the details of their claims to the few where a final assessment has been made but not yet accepted.