Scottish update

A Scottish Government commissioned panel, the Scottish Human Rights Commission InterAction Action Plan Review Group, has reported to the Scottish Government that the state has a duty to ensure effective remedies for violations of human rights, including abuse in care. The panel has called for legislation on this by the end of the Scottish parliamentary session in 2021. It has also recommended that there should be an early payment scheme in place to benefit older survivors of abuse in residential care settings. The Scottish Government has undertaken to give these recommendations “early, detailed and sensitive consideration” and to “report back to parliament in due course”. Continue reading

Inquiry Updates – Scotland, England and Wales

Scotland

Phase 2 of the public hearings at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry drew to a close last week and the Chair, Lady Smith, took the opportunity to review what it had achieved to date and to outline the next steps of the inquiry’s work. Continue reading

Impact of the Abolition and Amendment of the Law of Limitation in relation to non-recent child abuse – comparative experiences

Western Australia is the latest state to introduce laws which will enhance the prospects of success for claimants’ bringing claims for damages arising out of non-recent sexual abuse. Following the lead of all other states, apart from South Australia, legislation has just been enacted that will abolish the 6 year limitation period.   The recently concluded Royal Commission found that on average an individual waited 22 years to disclose their abusive experiences   The changes being introduced also provide a legal basis for suing institutions in the name of their current office holders and include provisions designed to overcome difficulties survivors may face in identifying a correct defendant.  Continue reading

Scottish update

On 9 March 2018, the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill, which we covered in our 12 February 2018 blog, became an Act of the Scottish Parliament upon the grant of Royal Assent. Its provisions will be brought into force at a later date by Scottish ministerial regulations. Continue reading

Implementation of Scottish Limitation Abolition Act

The Scottish Government has announced its intention to bring the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 into force in October 2017.

The Abolition Bill became an Act of the Scottish Parliament on the grant of Royal Assent on 28 July 2017 but regulations by Scottish Ministers are needed to bring its provisions into force.

Once implemented, the Act will retrospectively abolish limitation in claims for personal injury, whether physical or psychological or both, caused by childhood abuse.

On account of a quirk of the Scots Law on Prescription, the Act will only be of relevance to abuse which took place on or after 26 September 1964.


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Frank Hughes and Siobhan Kelly, Partners, BLM Glasgow

The cost of inquiries

The costs associated with funding inquiries are not usually the main focus when an inquiry is set up; attention is given to the scope of the investigation and how best this can be achieved through the Terms of Reference. However as inquiries are funded by the public purse, pursuant to the Inquiries Act 2005 (sections 39-40), and in light of the current number of national inquiries addressing a range of topics, knowledge and interest in the costs involved has grown as the public focus on whether such inquiries provide value for money.

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