A three day public hearing is due to take place at IICSA this week, starting 26 November, in connection with the second phase of the Accountability and Reparations investigation.
IICSA will hear evidence from a range of practitioners, including insurers who handle civil claims received from victims and survivors, solicitors acting for victims and survivors, solicitors who represent organisations facing accusations, as well as other interested parties.
The hearing will look at whether the law of limitation in civil cases should be reformed, and whether a redress scheme should be implemented. At present, the law on limitation sets out that claims must be brought within a set window, save if the defendant chooses not to raise this as a defence, or the court is satisfied that the strict test for setting aside limitation (s33 Limitation Act 1980) is met.
In due course, the inquiry will consider whether the mechanisms currently in place adequately support victims and survivors.
These hearings follow on from the preliminary hearing which took place last month, the transcript for which can be found here.
At 12pm on Thursday 19 September 2019 IICSA published its report in the Accountability and Reparations investigation.
This IICSA investigation was set up to inquire into the extent to which existing support services and available legal process effectively deliver reparations to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
The work of IICSA has been quietly progressing; sometimes the subject matter hits the headlines but much has not. A brief summary below notes the current progress of the investigations.
The second preliminary took place on 25 September in preparation for the three weeks of public hearings due to start on 26 November 2018.
In the Inquiry’s words: This investigation focuses on the support services and legal remedies available to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. It responds to multiple reports of inadequate support services, obstructive insurance companies and a civil justice system that may not deliver genuine reparation.
As IICSA continues to progress, we summarise recent and forthcoming developments in relation to its investigations.
||Key Updates from the Inquiry
|Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale
- Public hearings were held from 9-27 October 2017. Evidence from the hearings is available online.
|Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks
- The Inquiry is not accepting applications for Core Participant (CP) status or requesting evidence currently.
- The Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.
|Accountability and Reparations
- Public hearings will be taking place 26 November – 13 December 2018.
|Children in Custodial Institutions
- The first preliminary hearing took place on 1 February 2018.
- Key issues for this investigation include: prevalence and culture issues, response issues, safeguarding systems and recommendations.
- The Inquiry received 4 applications for designation as a CP. The Chair granted applications to the MoJ, the SoS for Education and Metropolitan Police. One reapplication was heard during the preliminary hearing.
- Public hearings to be held 9 July 2018 for approximately 2 weeks.
- A week of public hearings was held from 22-26 January 2018.
- Applications will be requested for more CPs in due course.
|Investigation into the Institutional Responses to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC
- April 2017 the Inquiry published a Notice of Determination and revised the scope of this investigation. No preliminary hearing for oral submissions to be held.
- No other significant updates.
|Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils
- Second preliminary hearing held on 31 January 2018.
- There are 90 CPs including 83 of whom are individuals who allege that they were sexually abused whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.
- Public hearings to be held in October 2018.
- From the list of 31 homes/thematic case studies, the 4 proposed are:
- Beechwood – institutional responses to disclosures of non-recent child sexual abuse or to contemporaneous and recent disclosures of allegations of sexual abuse by Andris Logins care workers at Beechwood in the 1980s;
- Foster care – institutional responses to disclosure of allegations by children placed in foster care in Nottinghamshire;
- Peer on peer abuse – institutional responses to disclosures of allegations of peer on peer abuse in residential children’s homes;
- Wollaton House – institutional responses to disclosures of allegations of child sexual abuse in the home.
- The Chair re-emphasised that this investigation along with those into Lambeth Council and Rochdale institutions focuses on the experiences of children in institutions operated or overseen by local authorities.
|Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church
- A further preliminary hearing was held on 30 January 2018
- The first public hearing in relation to the Chichester Dicoese case study will commence for 3 weeks on 5 March 2018. There are twenty themes and issues being considered.
- Further public hearings relating to Peter Ball will be heard commencing 23 July 2018 and in to the wider Anglican Church in 2019.
|Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools
- Currently no CPs designated.
- No significant updates.
|Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Linked to Westminster
- A preliminary hearing was held on 31 January 2018. A number of individuals, including Daniel Janner QC, reapplied for CP status.
- This investigation will focus on the way Westminster institutions dealt with and responded to allegations. The Inquiry will not review recent high-profile police investigations but simply attempt to bring together as many of the basic facts related to these issues as possible.
- The Inquiry have confirmed they do not anticipate this investigation will make any findings as to whether high profile politicians such as Edward Heath or Cyril Smith did or did not commit acts of child sexual abuse of which they have been accused.
- The possible scope of this investigation could include the following areas:
- Improper influence on prosecutors;
- Inappropriate reactions from party leaders to warnings;
- What did various Whips Offices do;
- How did the ‘honours system’ secretariat react to allegations;
- What was the Paedophile Information Exchange and did it have influence in Westminster.
- Further preliminary hearings will be held before the public hearings. Dates will be announced on the Inquiry’s website.
- 3 weeks of public hearings will take place on 4 March 2019.
|Protection of Children Outside the UK
- The Panel’s report into the Child Migration Case Study is expected to be published shortly.
- Public hearings for other aspects of this investigation will commence on 11 February 2019.
|Children in the Care of Lambeth Council
|Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church
- Initial hearings which focused on the Benedictine Order, in particular at Ampleforth and Downside were held in November.
- Further public hearings relating to the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study will take place from 12-16 November 2018.
- Public hearings relating to the Ealing Abbey case study will commence on 4 February 2019.
Written by Miriam Rahamim, solicitor at BLM
As the IICSA calls for core participants in the investigation involving Nottinghamshire Councils, we summarise recent and forthcoming developments in relation to IICSA investigations. For information summarising the scope of all the various investigations please refer to our previous blog of 3 January 2017 by clicking here.
Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils –
- The Inquiry has requested individuals and organisations submit their applications for Core Participant status by 21 April 2017. Guidance for submitting applications has been provided by IICSA on its website. Applicants seeking Core Participant status after the deadline will need to explain why their application has been submitted out of time.
- A preliminary hearing will be held on 11 May 2017 at 10.30am at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London.
Accountability and Reparations –
- The part 1 oral hearing for the Child Migration Programmes case study, forming one of the strands of this investigation, has been held. Part 1 focused on evidence given by a number of former child migrant witnesses and the Inquiry’s appointed experts.
- A further preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 May 2017.
- The part 2 oral hearing, commencing on 10 July 2017, will focus on evidence from organisations previously involved in child migration and further evidence from the Inquiry’s experts.
Children in Custodial Institutions –
- The Inquiry’s Research Project held in January 2017 sought material (due for disclosure by 17 February 2017) for a review of the existing academic and grey literature (including policy and practice documents) relating to the incidence of child sexual abuse in the young people’s secure estate and the institutional response process to such allegations. The findings will determine this investigation as well as policy and practice recommendations to be made by the Inquiry.
- IICSA has provided details about the areas they are exploring within this investigation. These are:
- Evidence related to prevalence of child sexual abuse in the young people’s secure estate;
- Particular aspects of socio-demographic characteristics, both of victims and perpetrators;
- The factors associated with failure to protect or act to protect children in the care of institutions in the youth secure estate;
- The nature of the safeguarding systems in place in secure institutions for children and young people, and how they have changed over the years;
- Recommendations as to how those systems may be improved to better protect children and young people in secure care from sexual abuse.
Investigation into the Institutional Responses to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC –
- On 31 January 2017, following an application from Daniel Janner QC, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and Marion Janner OBE for Core Participant status which was granted to them by the Chair – Professor Alexis Jay OBE, on behalf of their late father’s estate.
- 11 April 2017 – the Inquiry published a Notice of Determination and revised the definition of scope in relation to this investigation. In light of the submissions received, the Chair has decided not to hold a preliminary hearing for oral submissions. The Inquiry will investigate institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC, considering:
- The adequacy and propriety of law enforcement investigations and prosecutorial decisions;
- The extent to which Leicestershire County Council and the Kirkwood Inquiry were aware of allegations falling and the adequacy of their response;
- The extent to which the Labour Party, Parliament, government departments, and/or the security and intelligence agencies were aware of allegations and the adequacy of their response;
- The extent to which any other public or private institution may have failed in its duty to protect children from sexual abuse;
- Whether any attempts were made to exert improper influence in order to hinder or prevent an institution from effectively investigating or otherwise responding to allegations.
Following consideration of the factors above, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out their findings and recommendations to improve child protection and safeguarding in England and Wales.
- Correspondence between panel member, Drusilla Sharpling CBE and the Home Secretary has been provided on IICSA website, following submissions made by the Janner family that Ms Sharpling should recuse herself from the investigation. Ms Sharpling wrote to the Home Secretary providing further details about her professional career and acquaintances that may be relevant to her position on the Panel, in particular her previous connections with the CPS, the Lord Janner case and one of the Core Participants in the Lord Janner investigation strand. In her response the Home Secretary clearly states that she is satisfied the information provided will not affect Ms Sharpling’s impartiality on the panel.
The Inquiry is not currently accepting Core Participant applications or requesting evidence for the following investigations:
- The internet;
- Child sexual abuse in residential schools;
- Allegations of child sexual abuse linked to westminster
There are no further updates in relation to the other investigations.
Written by Miriam Rahamim, solicitor at BLM
As the IICSA confirms the initial hearing dates for the first public hearings which form part of the investigation in to the Protection of Children Outside of the UK, the High Court has handed down a judgment which is linked to this issue as it addresses limitation when abuse has occurred overseas.
In the case of KXL and others the High Court rejected the claims and the claimants’ contentions that the Foreign Limitation Provisions Act 1984 (FLPA) conflicts with public policy and/or causes undue hardship to claimants because there is no discretionary power to extend the time limit in a historical abuse claim.