Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Project 43 - Compensation for persons detained in custody

Project No. 43

Commenced: 1973
Withdrawn: 1983

Detention in custody may involve personal hardship beyond the immediate loss of liberty, such as loss of income, property and employment. While a person in Western Australia may obtain compensation for legal costs in some circumstances, the only compensation for other losses is by means of an ex gratia payment from the Crown. At the time of the reference only one person had ever been compensated after having served a sentence for a wrongful conviction. The question for the Commission was whether persons wrongly imprisoned should be compensated and if so, to what extent.

Terms of Reference

In 1973 the Commission was given a reference to consider whether legislation should be enacted to provide compensation for people detained in custody and subsequently acquitted.


Research continued until 1981 when the project was deferred at the request of the Attorney General. The reference was not revived and was formally withdrawn in 1983.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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