Last year the Scottish Government held a consultation on the removal of limitation in claims arising from sexual abuse. Since the consultation closed in September little has been said but it has now been announced that the recommendations will be progressed by the end of March. Claims which relate to abuse dating back to September 1964 will be able to proceed albeit that they are brought outside of the three year time period which currently applies. A draft bill is to be produced by the end of the current Parliamentary session. Although there has been no official announcement Ministerial comment has confirmed that the possibility that the new legislation will include the opportunity for the revival of old claims which were previously dismissed due to being out of time. It has been suggested that the estimated 1000 abuse victims who were unable to proceed with their claims relating to abuse at Nazareth House, Cardonald, Glasgow may be able to resurrect their claims under the new legislation. At a meeting last Thursday with survivors groups Angela Constance, Scottish Education Secretary, confirmed that the matter would be progressed before the end of the parliamentary term on 24 March. Assuming such changes are made in Scotland it can only increase the likelihood of a similar position being adopted in England & Wales.
Written by Paula Jefferson, partner