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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Abuse within football in Scotland – an update

An independent review into the abuse of children within Scottish football was announced by the Scottish Football Association (the SFA) in 2016, and an interim report was published in 2018 which reported that the safety and wellbeing of children needed to be prioritised at every level of the sport.

It is now understood that the final report, which is not expected to be published until next year, will call on clubs to accept responsibility for the abuse suffered by some children in the past. It is understood that Celtic, Rangers, Motherwell and Hibernian are among the clubs involved.  It is also reported that the clubs involved will be called upon to offer genuine and sincere apologies to the survivors of the abuse.  Solicitors acting for survivors are also pressing for the clubs to offer compensation, following the example set in England by Manchester City.

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Scottish statutory “in care” redress scheme

Today, Scottish Government launched a pre-legislative consultation on a redress scheme for childhood abuse in care.

A link to the consultation webpage is here. The consultation closes on 25 November 2019. Scottish Government has committed to introducing a Bill for a redress scheme in spring 2020 and for the legislation to be passed, assuming parliamentary approval, before March 2021. Royal Assent and possibly also a commencement order would then be needed to bring the Act’s provisions into force.

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Update on the Advance Payment Scheme in Scotland

The Advanced Payment Scheme (APS) is open to anyone who was in care as a child and was abused in care in Scotland before December 2004. Payments will be made on a discretionary basis to those who have a terminal illness or who are age 70 or over.

The APS has worked well with the first payments being made within three weeks of its launch.

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