As Amber Rudd is due to attend before the Home Affairs Select Committee tomorrow and a memo from the former Chair is commented on in the press, the new Chair has made a statement announcing an internal review. However there is no change to terms of reference or the introduction of any new restrictions on the scope of the Inquiry.
Professor Jay has said hat she has initiated a wide-ranging internal review of the Inquiry’s ways of working and they are looking at different approaches to evaluating the information received. To date the Inquiry has received over 500,000 pages of evidence.
The full statement from Professor Jay can be accessed here.
Paula Jefferson, Partner
The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2016 / 2017 has been revealed on 6 September. Before June 2017, the Scottish Government intends to introduce the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament. When making the announcement of the legislative programme upon this, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland said that the Bill “fulfils a recommendation from the Scottish Human Rights Commission.” She added “As the Human Rights Commission has pointed out, the three year limitation rule is not appropriate for child abuse” explaining that, “the reasons for victims not coming forward until later in life are entirely understandable.” She concluded by advising the Scottish Parliament that “This Bill will ensure that the justice system works better for victims of such terrible crimes.”
Written by Frank Hughes, Partner
As we reported on this blog on 28 July 2016, Lady Smith, a Scottish Judge since 2001 and, from 2011, a Scottish Appeal Court Judge, is the new Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. Unlike the English and Welsh Inquiry, the present remit of the Scottish Inquiry excludes non-State institutions. Hence, for instance, those alleging abuse in religious settings in the community, in contrast to State-provided care institutions, are not covered at present by the Scottish Inquiry.
Pressure is, though, building to extend the Scottish Inquiry’s scope. Alan Draper, spokesman for In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) was reported, in the 31 August 2016 Herald newspaper, as saying that “we put forward (to the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, John Swinney) a powerful argument about extending (the scope of the Scottish Inquiry).” He adds, though, that he is “not hopeful”.
After the media frenzy around the resignation and appointment of a new Chair, the IICSA is continuing its work as normal and has published many of the outstanding decisions from the July hearings. There has been a subtle change of emphasis as can be seen in some of the decisions and an attempt to clarify the scope and purpose of the Inquiry.
A new case study has been added to the Accountability & Reparations (A&R) Investigation bringing the total to five. This case study relates to Stanhope Castle Approved School. The rationale for consideration of this as a case study is that unlike the other cases studies, which will look at the adequacy of reparation obtained, this case study will consider what happens when there is no possibility of reparation. In association with the announcement of this case study the Stanhope Castle Survivors Group was granted core participant (CP) status.
The Scottish Government has now announced the appointment of Lady Smith, a Judge of the Court of Session, as the new chair of the Scottish Inquiry into Child Abuse. Lady Smith has been a Judge since 2001 and has sat in the Scottish Civil Appeal Court (the Inner House) since 2011, as well as being a President of the Scottish Tribunals and having played a lead role in the Scottish Partnership on Domestic Abuse.
The long awaited Chilcot report arrives this week and commentators are already giving warnings to other inquiries of lessons to be learnt. Meanwhile the Goddard Inquiry becomes more active announcing the position on broadcasting of the first four investigations.
The Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Susan O’Brien QC has resigned. The Deputy First Minister has written to parliament advising he had already initiated a formal process which could have led to removal of the chair from her post. Continue reading