Scottish claims and litigation

In recent blogs, we have considered the Scottish Government’s plan for a statutory redress scheme. One of the evolving issues is whether engagement with the statutory scheme should be to the exclusion of a claimant’s ability to issue civil court proceedings. Scottish Government is committed to establishing the legislative framework for a redress scheme before the end of March 2021.

In the context of Scottish claims and litigation, Lady Smith, Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI), has recently issued a reminder that statements prepared by SCAI which have not been redacted by them cannot be used in claims or litigation arising from allegations of historical abuse of children in care. This reminder has been issued after SCAI became aware that non-redacted witness statements were being used for those purposes. Disclosure of such statements, whether to the opposing party in litigation or to anyone else, would be in breach of a statutory restriction order made by Lady Smith. The reasoning behind this order is that whilst an applicant is free to waive anonymity, he or she may not do so on behalf of anyone else. Lady Smith has requested that if non-redacted SCAI statements are disclosed they are securely shredded. Redacted statements are published on SCAI’s website.

Written by Fiona McEwan, Associate and Frank Hughes, Partner

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