Update on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

On 16 January 2020, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) published its costs from its inception in October 2015 to the end of 2019. Cost in that period was £30,049,590.

SCAI’s work continues. Phase 5 public hearings, on investigations into the abuse of children whose departure from Scotland to countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand was part of child migration programmes, are due to resume in February 2020. This phase started on 3 December 2019 with evidence being heard that month by video-link from witnesses who were unable to travel to the inquiry.

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Update on Scottish Redress and immediate changes to the Advance Payment Scheme

Readers of this blog will be aware that the Scottish Government has committed to establishing a statutory redress scheme before the end of March 2021.

A pre-legislative public consultation on financial redress for historical child abuse in care opened on the 2 September 2019 and closed on the 25 November 2019.

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Scottish limitation litigation on the ‘fair hearing’ defence

The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Act 2017 retrospectively abolished the three year ‘time bar’ rule for personal injury claims arising from childhood abuse in Scotland but retained defences in the Act on ‘fair hearing’ and on ‘substantial prejudice’.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry publishes further findings

Today, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) published its third case study findings.

The latest findings follow evidence heard between October 2018 and February 2019 on residential care establishments run by three voluntary providers (Quarriers, Aberlour Child Care Trust and Barnardo’s). This covers the period between 1921 and 1991. A link to the findings is here.         .

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Scottish Government launches outline of and public consultation on financial redress for child abuse

As noted in our blog of 2 September, the Scottish Government launched a pre-legislative public consultation on financial redress for historical child abuse in care.

This is one of two blogs which looks in more detail at the consultation. This blog looks at the underlying general principles of the proposed statutory financial redress scheme and our next blog will look at the proposed payments, the evidence required to support them and how they will be assessed.

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Scotland Considers Creation of Sexual Offences Court

A Scottish High Court judge, Lord Matthews has stated that Scotland is considering the creation of a dedicated sexual offences court.

The number of sex crimes being prosecuted in the Scottish courts has increased massively over the last decade. Despite that, conviction rates remain significantly lower than other crimes.  In 2017/18 the acquittal rate for rape was 55% and was 33% for sexual assault, in comparison with an overall acquittal rate for all crimes of 6%.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) update

SCAI is now sitting again to hear evidence in public session from Tuesday 10 September 2019. Between 10 September and 5 November 2019, SCAI plans to conclude hearing evidence and submissions for its Phase 4 case studies on residential care establishments run by male religious orders.

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