This week, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) has announced that on 21 and 23 January 2019 it will hear evidence, via video link from Australia, of witnesses whose evidence is relevant to the child migrant case study. Prior to migration, the witnesses were children in care in residential care establishments run by religious organisations.
The child migrant case study itself is not planned to take place at SCAI until the latter part of 2019 but for various reasons evidence will be taken by video link in advance.
SCAI is interrupting the present Phase 3 of its public hearings for these purposes. Phase 3 case studies on residential care establishments run by non-religious and voluntary organisations started on 23 October 2018 and will run into 2019.
Phase 4 of public hearings at SCAI is scheduled to start in summer 2019. Phase 4 will consider case studies on residential care establishments run by male religious orders.
No timescale has yet been set for subsequent Phases but those are expected to include the 17 care provider institutions which were added to the list of 69 institutions already under investigation by SCAI in September 2018 and the child migrant case study itself.
SCAI was originally due to complete its work by reporting to Scottish Ministers by October 2019. The timescale is now for reporting “as soon as reasonably practicable” after then.
Frank Hughes, Partner and Fiona McEwan, Associate