Last month, 38 former students of Yeshiva University High School for Boys in New York City filed a lawsuit against the school alleging systematic sexual abuse by Rabbi George Finkelstein, Rabbi Macy Gordon and Richard Andron, during the mid-50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. 34 of the plaintiffs (known as claimants in English law) tried to sue Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 2013, however their actions failed in 2014 when a New York District Court Judge ruled that their claims were time barred.
At 12pm on Thursday 19 September 2019 IICSA published its report in the Accountability and Reparations investigation.
This IICSA investigation was set up to inquire into the extent to which existing support services and available legal process effectively deliver reparations to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Safeguarding in Faith Settings is an informal, cross-party interest group of MPs and Peers which exists to help other MPs from all parties to become better informed on the issue of safeguarding in faith settings. It has launched an inquiry and has issued a call for evidence to be provided by 20 September relating to whether there should be a change in legislation relating to ‘Positions of Trust’ within faith settings.
Phase 1 of the residential schools investigation will begin on 30 September. The hearing is due to last for two weeks and during the hearing regard will be given to the following:
- Publication of a report in connection with closed schools
- Oral evidence in connection with specific music and special needs schools
- Further information about the issues and organisations involved in phase 2
Fourteen sentences are to be added to the unduly lenient sentence scheme today, which was launched in 1989. The scheme gives anyone the power to ask the Attorney General to consider referring a sentence to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration where it could be increased if deemed unduly lenient. The person requesting the review need not have a connection to the case. It must be lodged within 28 days of the sentencing hearing.
A Scottish High Court judge, Lord Matthews has stated that Scotland is considering the creation of a dedicated sexual offences court.
The number of sex crimes being prosecuted in the Scottish courts has increased massively over the last decade. Despite that, conviction rates remain significantly lower than other crimes. In 2017/18 the acquittal rate for rape was 55% and was 33% for sexual assault, in comparison with an overall acquittal rate for all crimes of 6%.
Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Chief Justice for NI, has said that it is “shocking” that 2 ½ years after the final report of the HIAI, lead by Sir Anthony Hart who sadly died earlier this year without seeing his recommendations implemented, was released there has been no progress in implementing those recommendations.
Along with recommendations on apologies, a memorial and the appointment of a Commissioner for survivors and victims the report recommended a Redress Scheme. While an interim advocate has been appointed to assist the survivors in pressing their agenda forward there has been no progress in the creation of a Redress Scheme.