On 30 September and 7 October 2020, the Education and Skills Committee at the Scottish Parliament heard evidence on a wide range of aspects of the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill. This blog focuses on certain evidence heard on one of the most contentious aspects, the requirement that a survivor must waive, to a defined extent, his or her right to seek civil compensation in court in exchange for a redress payment.Continue reading
Followers of this blog will be aware that the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee has issued a call for views on the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill. This legislation seeks to right certain wrongs of the past by means of financial redress for survivors of childhood (under 18) abuse in relevant in-care settings. The call for views closes on 2 October 2020.Continue reading
On 15 September 2020, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) plans to resume hearing evidence relating to the child migration case study. Evidence on Scottish Government knowledge of and response to abuse is planned for mid-November 2020. A case study examining the abuse of children in boarding schools is expected to start in early 2021.Continue reading
On 24 August 2020 the Education and Skills Committee at the Scottish Parliament launched a call for views on the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill.
- A link to the call for views is here. A link to guidance issued on creating a submission in response to this call is here.
- The closing date for responses is 2 October 2020.
In the morning of 19 August 2020 the Education and Skills Committee of the Scottish Parliament considered, in private, its approach to the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill. This committee will be scrutinising the bill at Stage 1 of the three stage Scottish legislative process. That afternoon, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP, delivered a statement in the parliament’s chamber on the bill and took questions on it.Continue reading
On 9 June 2020 the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) released a spring / summer 2020 newsletter. This is the seventh SCAI newsletter (link here). This newsletter gives reassurance that SCAI has not stopped working during the COVID-19 (C-19) crisis albeit public hearings – including on child migration and, separately, boarding schools – are postponed until further notice.
In a YouTube video released on 26 March 2020, Lady Smith, chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI), emphasised that the ‘vital work of SCAI continues’ with all staff working remotely with access to ‘excellent IT and infrastructure’. SCAI’s phone lines are presently operating Monday to Friday 10am-4pm to ‘support applicants and witnesses’. Investigative and preparatory work for announced case studies continues. Work also continues in reviewing and analysing evidence heard during previous case study hearings. Further case study findings will be published ‘as soon as possible’. To date, SCAI has published three sets of findings but has not yet made any recommendations.
To inform the design and delivery of the proposed statutory financial redress scheme in Scotland, the Scottish Government launched a pre-legislative public consultation last year which ran for 12 weeks, closing on 25 November 2019.
In total, 280 responses to the consultation were received. Of these, 82% were from individuals, while the remainder 18% were from organisations.
Of the individuals who responded, around 91% identified as a survivor of abuse in care and some individuals drew on their own experience of abuse in care to illustrate or explain their answers.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) has added a further ten institutions to the list of establishments under investigation, taking the total number under investigation to 96.
Four young offenders institutions are among the ten now added along with three local authority establishments, a religious school, an independent school and an industrial school, which became an “Approved” and then a “List D” school.
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.