Teina Pora should get inflation on compensation - High Court

Teina Pora's compensation payout should have included inflation, a High Court judge has ruled, after he spent more than 20 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

Mr Pora's case has been recognised as "truly exceptional", after he was wrongly jailed aged 17 for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett. His conviction was quashed in 2015.

Last year he was awarded $2.52 million in compensation for the wrongful imprisonment, but he's since battled to have inflation added to the payment.

On Tuesday, Justice Rebecca Ellis said Justice Minister Amy Adams' interpretation of the guidelines for compensation was incomplete and constituted an error of law.

"[The guidelines] are concerned with putting right, so far as possible, serious wrongs," she said.

"[A]lthough Mr Pora has, of all the claimants, spent (by far) the longest time wrongly incarcerated, he has, in real dollar terms, been the most poorly compensated for his years of lost liberty."

Mr Pora hasn't yet been told about ruling, private investigator Tim McKinnel, who worked to free him, said in a press conference.

"He's been incredibly patient... It will mean the world to him," he said.

Mr Pora's payout was based on $100,000 for each year he spent in jail, but wasn't adjusted for inflation. Adding inflation would see the payout increased to more than $3 million in total.

Justice Rodney Hansen had recommended inflation be added to the compensation, but Ms Adams decided not to based on guidelines.

In her ruling, Justice Ellis said the guidelines were brought in in 2000 and should've been reviewed over the years.

"[T]here is no basis for assuming that it was intended to continue to apply without review in the medium to long term," she said.

"And as time went on, any reasonable reader of the Guidelines would understand the potential effect of inflation was having on that benchmark figure."

Both Mr McKinnel and lawyer Jonathan Krebs are now hopeful this judgement will lead Ms Adams to reconsider and "put [things] right".

In a statement after the judgement was released, Ms Adams wouldn't say whether this means Mr Pora will get the extra money.

"I will be taking time to consider the detailed judgment, and further public comment on the case would be inappropriate at this stage," she said.