A Scottish Government commissioned panel, the Scottish Human Rights Commission InterAction Action Plan Review Group, has reported to the Scottish Government that the state has a duty to ensure effective remedies for violations of human rights, including abuse in care. The panel has called for legislation on this by the end of the Scottish parliamentary session in 2021. It has also recommended that there should be an early payment scheme in place to benefit older survivors of abuse in residential care settings. The Scottish Government has undertaken to give these recommendations “early, detailed and sensitive consideration” and to “report back to parliament in due course”.
Meantime, the work of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry continues. That inquiry, set up in October 2015, rose, at the conclusion of Phase 2, on 3 July 2018. Phase 3 starts on 23 October 2018 when the inquiry will investigate residential child care establishments run by non-religious and voluntary organisations. Phase 4 hearings will begin in summer 2019, investigating residential child care establishments run by male religious orders.
The original intention was for the inquiry to report to Scottish Ministers by October 2019. That timescale has already been changed to “as soon as reasonably practicable” after then. Interim reports are anticipated before the final report to Scottish Ministers. The cost of the inquiry to the end of June 2018 was £15,669,613.
Authored by Frank Hughes, Partner, Glasgow