• In the case of Jones v First Tier Tribunal [2013] UKSC 19, it is a question of fact whether D has mens rea in the crime in question and, as such, this cannot be subject to judicial review.

Facts of the Case

  • An individual (X) attempted suicide during with C was injured and subsequently applied for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2001
  • C’s proposition that X committed an offence under Section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 was rejected by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority because X did not have the necessary mens rea.
  • C appealed this decision to both the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal who upheld the Authority’s decision.
  • C sought judicial review of the First Tier Tribunal’s decision which was granted to them under section 15 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 by the Court of Appeal.
  • They found that the First Tier Tribunal had made a mistake of law by seeing that X did not have the mens rea. They based their reasoning on the fact that it is unlikely that an individual running into traffic would not foresee that an accident is highly probable and could subsequently harm another individual.
  • This decision was then appealed by the Authority


  • Can an offence under Section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 be deemed as a ‘crime of violence’ for the Scheme?
  • Was a mistake of law made by the First Tier Tribunal in relation to mens rea, and could this result in an application by C for judicial review?

Held by the Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court allowed the Authority’s appeal and found that the First Tier Tribunal had not made a mistake of law and remained inside their boundaries capacity to create a steady approach when applying the CICS criteria.

Lord Hope

  • Lord Hope confirmed that where there is an offence under section 20, it “will always amount to a crime of violence for the purposes of the scheme for compensation for criminal injury” [28]

Lord Carnwath

  • The courts recognise that the Court of Appeal were not aware of specific information which would have enabled them to determine why there had been inconsistency.
  • “Had this statement of reasons been available to the Court of Appeal, it is unlikely that they would have been unduly troubled by the apparent inconsistency. As is clear from the citations given by Lord Hope, it is not sufficient to establish recklessness that the alleged offender “should have foreseen” that some physical harm might result. It is necessary to show that he “actually foresaw” that physical harm to some other person would be the consequence of his act, even if not the degree of harm which actually occurred.” [38]