Cabinet hits re-set button on Bain compo claim

To quality for payout, Bain must prove his innocence on balance of probabilities, convince cabinet of "sufficiently extraordinary circumstances".

Justice Minister Amy Adams sayst the government has “agreed to set aside all previous advice relating to David Bain’s compensation claim and conduct a fresh inquiry.”

This follows January’s confirmation that cabinet was resuming its consideration of Mr Bain’s claim for compensation for being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for the 1994 murder of his parents and three siblings.

That came after an agreement between Mr Bain and the Crown that he would discontinue his judicial review of the decision Judith Collins made when she was justice minister to bin an independent report by retired Canadian judge Justice Ian Binnie.

That report found that Mr Bain was innocent “on the balance of probabilities” but a review ordered by Ms Collins – conducted by then High Court Judge Robert Fisher – judged it “unsafe” to act on.

Because of this, Ms Adams argues that the cabinet “doesn’t have the information in front of it on which it could reasonably reach a decision” and a fresh inquiry is required to “safeguard the integrity of the process and reassure the public that the cabinet will act on the best advice available.”

To qualify for compensation, Mr Bain needs to “prove his innocence on the balance of probabilities and be able to satisfy the cabinet that the circumstances are sufficiently extraordinary that it would be in the interests of justice for compensation to be paid.”

Ms Adams will now “seek advice on an appropriate inquirer and develop terms of reference.”

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