Northern Ireland HIA Redress Scheme review formally commenced

In our blog of 13 July, 2021 we reported that the then Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill announced the establishment of a review of the client journey for HIA redress to improve the experiences of victims and survivors.

On 15 December, 2021 the then Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill announced that this review had commenced.

The Review is being undertaken with a view to putting the needs of victims and survivors of abuse at the centre of the redress process.

Continue reading

Collapse of Northern Ireland Executive impacts apology to victims of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland

Readers of this blog will be aware that last month we commented on Northern Ireland announcing its intention to make a public apology over historical institutional abuse on 11 March, 2022.

On 3 February the Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan of the DUP announced his resignation and this meant that the deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin, lost her post too.

Continue reading

Stormont Executive announces inquiry into mother and baby homes in Northern Ireland

November has been a busy time for Governments North and South of the Irish Border.

Details of the proposed redress scheme for Mother and Baby Homes in the Republic of Ireland were announced on 16 November and on the previous day the 15 November, the Stormont Executive announced that a STATUTORY public inquiry will be held in Northern Ireland to investigate mother and baby homes, Magdalene laundries and workhouses there.

All of the recommendations made by the expert panel which we discussed in our blog have been accepted by the Stormont Executive.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said “The publication of the report [last month] represents a major step forward for victims and survivors. I’m therefore pleased to inform members that the Executive accepts all of the recommendations in the panel’s report.”

Continue reading

The Northern Ireland Executive announce review of HIA redress process

On 5 July, 2021 the Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill announced the establishment of a review of the client journey for HIA redress to improve the experiences of victims and survivors.

In announcing the review the First Minister Paul Givan said that although much good work had been done since the redress process commenced over 15 months ago (1,090 applications have been finalised and redress totalling £20 million has been paid out) he said that there is still a clear need to consider what improvements can be made.

Continue reading

Report on Mother and Baby Homes in Northern Ireland likely to recommend full public inquiry

In February 2016, the then Northern Ireland Executive agreed to establish an inter-departmental working group to take forward work on Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries and Historical Clerical Child Abuse, which fell outside the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

The Working Group was tasked with considering the evidence about the operation of Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries and make recommendations to the Northern Ireland Executive on what action to take.

Continue reading

MOJ offers Medomsley abuse victims compensation

Hundreds of men who say that they were victims of abuse by staff at Medomsley in County Durham have become eligible for compensation after the Government changed the rules in respect of the proposed compensation scheme.

Medomsley was a youth detention centre in Consett, County Durham, which operated from the late 1960s until 1990.

Continue reading

Northern Ireland Justice Minister to strengthen sexual exploitation of children laws

The Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long has announced that she intends to strengthen the existing law to provide more comprehensive protection for children from sexual exploitation and to specifically ban the offence of “upskirting”.

Continue reading

Northern Ireland Executive appoints permanent Commissioner for Victims of Institutional Childhood Abuse

In addition to establishing the HIA Redress Board, the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Act 2019 (the 2019 Act) also somewhat uniquely provided for the establishment of a permanent Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse.

Section 22 of the 2019 Act states that the principal aim of the Commissioner “…is to promote the interests of any person who suffered abuse while a child and while resident in an institution at some time between 1922 and 1995.”

Continue reading

Further pressure on NI Interim Commissioner for Victims

Just over a week after the NI Executive opened the process to appoint a full-time commissioner for victims and survivors of institutional abuse the Interim commissioner, Brendan McAllister, has come under further pressure to resign as a result of his role in the Catholic Church.  It was known that he had started the process of becoming a Deacon in the Catholic Church and he recently took part in a service in St Peter’s church in his full clerical garb.

Continue reading

Sensitive data breach puts pressure on NI Interim Commissioner for Victims

Brendan McAllister, the interim Commissioner for Victims appointed in the wake of the report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI), has indicated he will not be stepping down after a serious breach in data regulations.  He has issued an apology following the breach involving the identification of 250 survivors of historical abuse.

Continue reading