HIAI Bill passes through Parliament before election Purdah

The Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill passed through the Commons yesterday before Parliament was dissolved in preparation for the December elections.  This paves the way for the creation of a Redress Panel and the appointment of a Commissioner for Victims of residential Institutional abuse as recommended by Sir Anthony Hart in 2017.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry update

In the Scottish Parliament today, the Scottish Government Education Minister, John Swinney reported he is “considering” extending the remit of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. On the one hand, he acknowledged, after recently consulting survivor’s groups, their objections to the narrowness of the remit of the Inquiry in Scotland, as relating to children in care. On the other hand, he explained he has sought to balance that against delay if the remit is widened, and the interests of survivors affected by such delay. Even with its current remit the inquiry is currently scheduled to last another three years. The Inquiry has commissioned research and has commenced the process of gathering information and documents. The Inquiry has already gathered numerous accounts of abuse through private sessions taking place throughout the UK.

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Aggravated and exemplary damages

A judge in the Republic of Ireland recently awarded a claimant 200,000 Euros in aggravated damages as part of his claim as a historical abuse victim, made against the perpetrator directly. Domestically we routinely see claimant solicitors attempting to increase their clients’ settlements by claiming awards for aggravated and, less frequently, exemplary damages. Continue reading