Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and criminal injuries compensation entitlements

Ian Freckelton

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In 2014 the Court of Appeal of England and Wales delivered an authoritative decision about the entitlement of persons with a FASD to awards of criminal injuries compensation. It determined that the child applicant had not been the victim of the relevant criminal offence - poisoning - as his mother had not unlawfully administered ‘to … any other person any poison’. The decision was made on the basis of the child at the relevant time being in utero and suffering adverse effects during the period of the administration, not after her birth which was the point in time when she assumed a legal personality. This case commentary analyses the international ramifications of the decision, arguing that it constitutes an orthodox application of legal principle. It asserts that financial arrangements for suitable care of persons with FASDs need to come from the state but that it would distort the fabric of both criminal and tort law for the provenance of such compensation to be from criminal injuries compensation schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Administering a poison
  • Criminal injuries compensation
  • Expert evidence
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
  • Negligence

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